Protecting Our Children – Inside & Out

Protecting Our Children—Inside & Out

We all know that it takes a strong team of family, friends, teachers, and medical professionals to keep kids happy, healthy, and growing. To stay on the right track, it’s recommended that children go to all milestone medical appointments and receive the appropriate immunizations as recommended for their age.

How do immunizations (or vaccines) work?

According to the CDC, “vaccines prevent disease that can be dangerous, or even deadly and greatly reduce the risk of infection by working with the body’s natural defenses to safely develop immunity to disease.”

Partnered with basic hygiene and healthy living habits, immunizations help children stay safe and on track to become healthy adults.

What immunizations do children need?

The CDC explains that, “Vaccines are recommended throughout your child’s life to protect against serious, sometimes deadly diseases.” Your child’s vaccination schedule is based on their age and any individual needs.

To learn more about the different vaccines offered at certain ages, click here! Remember to still ask your trusted primary care provider for specific information concerning your child’s health.

Why are on-time vaccinations important?

Your baby and growing child are vulnerable to serious diseases that could cause health issues now and in the future. That’s why it is so important to maintain your well-child visits and stay up to date on their immunization schedule.

The CDC explains, “Vaccines work with your child’s immune system to prevent various serious diseases. Although children continue to get several vaccines up to their second birthday and sometimes, several in one office visit, these vaccines do not overload the immune system.”

Where can I schedule my child’s routine appointments and immunizations?

Culbertson Memorial Hospital offers expert, compassionate care for the entire family. Contact us today to learn more about your well-baby and well-child visits and immunization schedules!

Alzheimer’s Disease & Its Effects on Your Loved Ones

The most common cause of dementia, Alzheimer’s accounts for 60-80% of dementia cases. Although similar and often confused for one another, Alzheimer’s and dementia are different diseases with varying effects on those affected patients.

What is Alzheimer’s Disease?

As defined by the Alzheimer’s Association, “Alzheimer’s is a brain disease that causes problems with memory, thinking, and behavior; a type of dementia.” A more general term, dementia describes a severe level of memory loss that interferes with daily life; it may also interrupt or decline other cognitive abilities.

The most well-known risk factor is increasing age, but this disease isn’t considered “normal” for those of an older age. In fact, around 200,000 Americans under the age of 65 have younger-onset Alzheimer’s disease.

How is Alzheimer’s treated or cured?

Alzheimer’s worsens over time leading to dementia symptoms that gradually worsen over time as well. First, a patient may experience mild memory loss in the early onset, but later stages of the disease mean patients can no longer carry on a conversation or adequately respond to their environment.

Currently, there is no cure, but treatments for symptoms are available. Researchers continue to discover helpful treatments to slow the worsening of dementia symptoms as a part of an effort to find an all-out cure.

What are the early warning signs of Alzheimer’s?

Knowing the signs can help you or a loved one receive the care needed earlier. For more information on each of these signs, click here:

  1. Memory loss that disrupts daily life
  2. Challenges in planning or solving problems
  3. Difficulty completing familiar tasks
  4. Confusion with time of place
  5. Trouble understanding visual images and spatial relationships
  6. New problems with words in speaking or writing
  7. Misplacing things & losing the ability to retrace steps
  8. Decreased or poor judgment
  9. Withdrawal from work or social activities
  10. Changes in mood & personality

How can I approach a loved one about their potential Alzheimer’s diagnosis?

As scary as it may be to address, it’s important to voice your concerns to the affected person to make sure they seek medical treatment as soon as possible. Follow these quick guidelines as recommended by the Alzheimer’s Association:

  • Assess the Situation. Are they experiencing changes in memory or thinking? Has anyone else noticed these changes?
  • Start a conversation. Make sure to plan your approach about this conversation & find other participants to discuss these concerns with you.
  • Reach out for help. If you want to learn how to appropriately reach out for help, click here.

To learn more about local options for Alzheimer’s care from doctors you know and trust, contact the expert staff at Culbertson Memorial Hospital to schedule an appointment today.

Keeping Summer Fun Safe

As the days get longer, we start heading outside for more entertainment and leisure activities under the warmth of the summer sun! To protect your skin, it’s common knowledge to apply sunscreen to your exposed areas. For older children and adults, it seems simple, but pediatric skin problems occur more frequently than one may think. That means we need to be extra careful with sunscreen application—especially with our kiddos!

What are the risks of unprotected sun exposure?

There are many risks (both common and uncommon) associated with prolonged and unprotected sun exposure:

  • Suntans – An injury to the top layer of your skin.
  • Sunburns – Too much sun exposure could lead to red, hot-to-touch skin.
    • First Degree Burn – Only effects the outer layer of skin
    • Second Degree Burn – Blisters could form and risk for infection increases
  • Freckles – Monitor freckles for unexpected changes in shape/size or bleeding/itching.
  • Skin Cancer – If there’s any suspicion of odd-looking moles or spots, see a doctor immediately.

What is the best way to protect my child from the sun?

Avoiding the sun entirely during the summer season is virtually impossible, but here’s a few tips to keeping yourself protected:

  • Stay Inside. Avoid going out into the sun during the hours of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. when the sun’s rays are the strongest.
  • Lather Up! Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher.
  • Get Shady. Wear hats, sunglasses, and clothes that cover up your exposed skin.
  • Say No. Do not partake in tanning beds or sunlamp usage as it causes long-term damage.

How do I know if I chose the right sunscreen?

It’s important to introduce sunscreen to children as early as 6 months old. When you’re looking to purchase sunscreen for the family, double check that your selection has all of the following:

  • First thing – make sure the bottle isn’t expired
  • Look for “broad-spectrum protection” that protects against UVA and UVB rays
  • Don’t be fooled by “water resistant” or “waterproof” labels
    • No sunscreen is completely water or sweat proof, so it’s always safer to reapply every 2 hours (or more frequently if partaking in water activities)
  • Choose a sunscreen with a protection factor (SPF) of at least 30 spf

Where else can I learn about how to best protect my child from sun damage?

To learn more about pediatric skin care and sun damage prevention, schedule your appointment today with Courtney Elliott, CPNP-PC who specializes in pediatric services!

Exercise. It’s More Than Physical.

Everyone knows that routine physical activity will help you look and feel your absolute best, but those benefits aren’t just skin deep. Regular exercise can also help with a variety of other health benefits. Let’s explore 5 ways that exercise benefits more than just the physical.

  1. Boost Your Mental Health

For those that suffer from anxiety or depression, light to moderate exercise can help alleviate some of the symptoms of those mental health conditions. Physical activity promotes the body to increase endorphin levels produced by your brain that spread throughout your body to make you feel happier.

  1. Stress Less

A bit less stress in our lives would make most of us happier. A regular fitness routine could help decrease stress in your life. As your heart rate increases, your body starts to reverse stress-induced brain damage by producing a chemical that improves cognition and mood. Plus, a stable routine could lead to your body handling stress better in the future.

  1. Work Hard, Rest Easy

Find yourself tossing and turning at night? Making some time for a daily workout could help you sleep soundly! Physical activity has calming effects on the mind, while also helping to regulate your internal alarm clock that controls when we feel tired and alert.

  1. Sweat Out, Confidence In

Increased self-esteem and self-confidence are benefits of regular exercise. Beyond feeling more confident about your physical appearance, sticking to a routine, and conquering your goals will help you feel more connected—body, mind, and spirit.

  1. Get Smart

Did you know that regular exercise can help boost your brain power too? Cardiovascular exercise helps create new brain cells that help improve brain performance overall. It could even boost creativity and mental energy, so you can conquer the day a bit stronger!

Want to learn about appropriate exercises for you or your loved one? The caring providers and expert staff at Culbertson Memorial Hospital work hard to help you reach your health goals.

Visit us online or contact us today to learn more about how exercise can help you.

Better Communication, Happier Life

In the chaos of day-to-day, it’s easy for us to take life’s most basic things for granted. For most of us, we don’t need to worry about our ability to safely swallow food or easily communicate with our peers, but many people do require some additional help to complete these basic skills. Jenna Patterson, Speech Therapist at Culbertson Memorial Hospital provides us with some helpful insight to the profession and how you or a loved one may benefit from Speech Therapy.

What is Speech Therapy?

Speech therapy, or speech pathology, provides a variety of services to individuals ranging from infant to geriatric. Speech therapists can treat disorders of speech, language, cognition, and swallowing.

 Who can benefit from speech pathology?

Both pediatric and adult patients can benefit from speech therapy. Patients could receive treatment for a variety of issues including, but not limited to:

  • Speech articulation
  • Language delays
  • Stuttering
  • Voice disorders
  • Feeding or swallowing difficulties
  • Difficulty controlling muscle movement for speech
  • Cleft or lip palate complications

How does speech pathology services work at Culbertson?

At Culbertson Memorial Hospital, Jenna works with inpatients, swing patients, and outpatients to help create an individualized plan to work on their conditions. She specializes in:

  • Outpatient and inpatient therapy
  • Pediatric speech and language disorders
  • Autism spectrum disorders
  • Motor-Based Speech Disorders
  • Cognitive-Communication Disorders
  • Dysphagia (swallowing disorders)
  • Video Fluoroscopic Swallowing Studies (VOSS or MBS)
  • Aphasia
  • Voice and Fluency Disorders

Typical appointments are one-on-one in an interactive and fun environment to make the space feel as natural and safe as possible. Most treatment plans can last anywhere from 6 weeks to 6 months with each session lasting from 30 minutes to one hour.

 What can I expect from my speech therapy appointment at Culbertson?

During your first appointment, you can expect an evaluation that includes getting to know you and establishing how speech therapy could benefit you. Then, there may be paperwork to fill out, some preliminary questions, and possibly a standardized language/swallowing assessment if necessary.

Most importantly, Jenna Patterson will work to make your experience fun, enjoyable, and comfortable to help you reach your short- or long-term goals together.

Where can I learn more about speech pathology at Culbertson Memorial Hospital?

The goal of therapy services at Culbertson is to help each patient achieve their full, functional potential. Our caring, compassionate staff work tirelessly to help you achieve your goals by performing an initial evaluation that will help determine the necessary treatment plan for you or your loved one.

To qualify for therapy services, you need to have a current prescription from a licensed medical provider and be aware of what therapy coverage your health insurance offers.

To learn more about therapy services, visit us online or contact us today!

Keeping Seniors Healthy & Happy

It takes a group effort to keep a community safe—and that applies to health and wellness too! Some of our favorite family members and neighbors can sometimes be the most susceptible to failing health or adverse conditions. Fortunately, some health situations can be alleviated by routine physical activity.

What is National Senior Health & Fitness day?

This year, National Senior Health & Fitness Day is observed on May 27, 2020 with the goal to help keep older Americans healthy, fit and happy. It is common knowledge that a regular fitness routine can also help emotional and mental health as well, so it’s even more important to make sure our seniors are active and moving!

What are safe ways to get older adults exercising?

As people age, it becomes even more vital to make sure they do not forget to get up and moving daily. Here are some easy, but engaging ways to staying active:

  • Daily WalkingWalking is a low impact form of exercise and doctors recommend around a half hour of walking each day!
  • Staying SociableJoining clubs or a society is an enjoyable way to stay active, physically and mentally.
  • GardeningStarting or tending to a garden is a great way to get up and moving, while creating something beautiful.
  • SwimmingSwimming offers a gentle way to exercise and water aerobics classes are a fun way to swim with a group of friends
  • Seated ExercisesFor those not as able to leave the home, seated exercises offer low-impact movements that still provide those exercise benefits. Moves like raising your legs, lifting weighted objects, or even some yoga positions can be done while seated!

How does the team at Culbertson help older adults?

Culbertson Memorial Hospital offers an outpatient program that provides a safe atmosphere where older adults can gather, talk, and feel a sense of community with their peers and compassionate providers.

Whether it’s the decline of physical ability, loss of a loved one, or other issues, Senior Life Solutions at Culbertson is ready to get you through it. Here are some other issues we can address:

  • Anger
  • Anxiety
  • Depressed Mood
  • Difficulty coping with healthy changes
  • Isolation or Loneliness
  • Unresolved Grief
  • Recently Experienced a Traumatic Event
  • Difficulty Sleeping
  • And many more!

If you want to learn more about Senior Life Solutions or other ways to stay active as an older adult, contact us or visit us online!

Helping You Breathe Better

May is Asthma Awareness Month.

Living with asthma can be scary at times. Without proper long-term treatment, symptoms can turn uncomfortable and dangerous if left unmonitored and uncontrolled. A key to treating asthma and its symptoms is understanding your personal triggers and how you plan to treat them.

What is Asthma?

Asthma is described as a condition where a person’s airways become inflamed, swell, and produce extra mucus making it difficult for a person to breathe. This condition ranges from mild to severe and can interfere with daily activities. Symptoms include difficulty breathing, chest pain, cough, wheezing and several others.

How is asthma normally treated?

Treating asthma depends on your lifestyle and the severity of your condition. Lifestyle factors include whether you are active, travel frequently, live in a certain location, or partake in risky behaviors like smoking, etc. Dependent on severity, asthma treatment could be anything from simply being mindful of your limits, keeping a rescue inhaler available in case of need, or use of longer-acting inhalers with oral steroid treatment to keep airways open.

 What are some triggers for asthma symptoms or attacks?

Exposure to various irritants and substances can trigger asthma symptoms, such as:

  • Airborne substances (pollen, dust mites, mold spores, pet dander or particles of cockroach waste)
  • Respiratory infections (like the common cold)
  • Physical activity
  • Cold air
  • Air pollutants (like smoking)
  • Certain medications (including beta blockers, aspirin, ibuprofen, and naproxen)
  • Strong emotions and stress

How does the team at Culbertson work with asthmatics to help their symptoms?

We offer a pulmonary specialty clinic through Central Illinois Allergy and Respiratory Service, every fourth Wednesday of the month. Richard Hutchinson, PA-C treats conditions such as asthma. To schedule an appointment, please call 217-522-5596 and request to be seen at the Rushville Clinic.

If you wish to learn more about asthma and how it may affect your daily living, contact us or visit us online!

Now’s the Time. Advanced Care Planning.

National Healthcare Decision Day is April 16, 2020. Planning ahead makes life’s hardest moments easier to handle in the future. National Healthcare Decision Day is just one resource you can use to help you or your loved ones start to properly plan in advance of any health issues.

What is National Healthcare Decision Day?

National Healthcare Decision Day (NHDD) promotes awareness of advanced care life planning before adverse situations arise that could cause strain on surviving family and friends. Understanding these conversations can be some of the toughest to have, trustworthy healthcare providers and resourceful organizations, like NHDD, work to keep you and your family informed of all your options.

The goal is to empower people to comfortably express their wishes for end-of-life care with their loved ones, hopefully providing peace of mind for surviving friends and family.

How can I get involved with NHDD?

It’s easy to get involved with National Healthcare Decision Day! Visit the official site to learn ways to initiate these type of conversations with your loved ones. Then, find a time to gather with those you care about most to discuss and outline those plans.

What other resources can I use to start planning my advanced life care plan?

To help with advanced life care planning, you can rely on a multitude of resources to start creating your end-of-life plan. Here’s a quick list of potential resources to use:

  • AARP
  • Aging with Dignity (Five Wishes)
  • American Hospital Association
  • American Bar Association Advance Care Planning Toolkit
  • NHDD

Plus, several others listed on this page of NHDD’s site.

 How is giving to the CMH Foundation an effective part of the plan?

While our expert providers and staff serve our patients with compassionate care, the CMH Foundation works to disperse our donor’s charitable gifts to help continue our mission to provide excellent care while keeping our technology and services up to date.

You or your loved ones can make a difference in the quality of our local healthcare by leaving a charitable donation or planned gift to Culbertson Memorial Hospital.

Learn more here or call the Foundation Director at (217) 322-4321.

Celebrating Diversity in Healthcare

April is National Minority Health Month and the world has become more interdependent as technology makes it easier to interact with people on the opposite side of the world. We learn more about our bodies and how they work every day—we even discover how our genetic differences affect our bodies uniquely, too.

What is minority health?
Minority health relates to the type of diseases, conditions, or illnesses that are associated with a person of a certain minority demographic. Research has shown that dependent on the demographic, certain illnesses or conditions can be developed overtime without proper preventative health care or knowledge of the condition at all.

This minority group could be of…

  • Racial
  • Ethnic
  • Sexual orientation
  • Gender
  • Socioeconomic class
  • Education level

Why are certain minorities at risk for different types of medical conditions?
Due to the intersections of numerous social and financial disadvantages presented by any given minority demographic, some people may not be able to prevent a wide range of diseases or conditions. Even the general public lacks proper resources and information on the issues faced by minority groups everywhere.

What types of conditions do minority groups tend to suffer from?
The intersectionality of a person, or multiple identifications of various demographics, makes the issue of minority health even more complicated.

Here’s a couple examples of that intersectionality of different demographic groups:

  • A rural family could be less likely to have access to a healthier food retailer than persons living in urban tracts, leading to issues resulting from poor nutrition.
  • A non-Hispanic black racial demographic family could be at a higher risk for developing adult diabetes due to cultural factors and they are often limited to less than healthy food options.

Why is ending health gaps important?
A core principle of public health is that every person should be able to reach his or her full health potential. Medical professionals seek to remove barriers to health linked to race or ethnicity, education, income, location, or other social factors. However, health gaps remain widespread among racial and ethnic minority groups.

  • In 2015-2016, Hispanic (47.0%) and non-Hispanic black (46.8%) adults had a higher prevalence of obesity than non-Hispanic white adults (37.9%).
  • In 2011-2014, the prevalence of diabetes was 18.0% in non-Hispanic black adults, 16.8% in Hispanic adults, and 9.6% in non-Hispanic white adults.

Where can I learn more about minority health?
To learn more about minority health, visit any of the following websites:

To help determine your health risks, schedule an appointment with one of our Culbertson providers.

National Minority Health Month

Do you practice good nutrition?

dietitian working on a meal plan

Nutritional Counseling Services at Culbertson

Nutrition is the study of how our body uses the nutrients absorbed from the foods we eat. Nutritionists pull from the studies of molecular biology, biochemistry, and genetics to properly determine how certain nutrient intake affects the body. Understanding how your body processes food can be helpful to achieving short- and long-term healthcare goals.

Continue reading “Do you practice good nutrition?”