PTSD: It Affects More Than You Think

It’s bigger than just affecting active or veteran service men and women. In fact, anyone of all ages and walks of life could be affected by this well-recognized but highly misunderstood mental health disorder. The only way to increase support services for PTSD is to clear up the misunderstandings associated with it.

What is PTSD?

PTSD, as defined by www.ptsd.va.gov, is “a mental health problem that some people develop after experiencing or witnessing a life-threatening event, like combat, a natural disaster, a car accident, or sexual assault.” In other words, any traumatic experience could lead to someone suffering from varying levels of PTSD.

Who develops PTSD?

Anyone, regardless of age, can develop PTSD. Several factors could increase the likelihood that someone will develop the disorder. Plus, most of these factors are not under a person’s control. Personal factors like family life, gender, age, the type of traumatic event, among others could affect if and how a person develops PTSD.

Why is it important to seek treatment for PTSD?

Just like any other mental or physical illness, the symptoms associated with PTSD could be alleviated or completely healed over time. If left untreated, this disorder could stop you from enjoying your life by damaging relationships or causing problems at work.

How do I know if I have PTSD?

Seeking a proper diagnosis from a trained mental health professional is the only way to know if you or a loved one suffer from PTSD. Usually, you’ll need to schedule an appointment with your primary care physician to ask for a referral to a mental health specialist.

Does Culbertson provide services or treatment for PTSD?

Yes! Culbertson Clinics provide care and treatment for numerous mental health disorders to include PTSD. Make an appointment with your primary care doctor to ask about a referral to our counseling services.

Want to learn more about how Culbertson Memorial can help treat PTSD for you or a loved one? Contact us today!

Raise One to Men’s Health Month

It’s important to stay on top of your health. Everyone should be aware of certain diseases and illnesses that could come into play as they age or partake in risky lifestyle decisions. But, men are more prone to certain healthcare issues compared to their female counterparts. The month of June looks to help solve the problem of men’s healthcare.

What is Men’s Health Month?

Sharing the spotlight with Father’s Day, Men’s Health Month looks to raise awareness about healthcare for men and to encourage all members of the family to choose a lifestyle with exercise and healthy eating. Healthcare providers encourage men to take control of their health and for families to teach their younger boys’ healthy practices early on as to prevent certain illness or disease later.

Why do we need to bring awareness to men’s health?

Statistically, men die younger than women and are more susceptible to certain illnesses. Some more male-prone medical conditions (e.g., kidney stones, alcoholism, ulcers, certain cancers, etc.) may be prevented by a healthier lifestyle free of any high-risk behaviors like poor diet, lack of exercise, or excessive consumption of alcohol or drugs.

What can I do to help raise awareness?

An easy way to raise awareness is to participate in Wear Blue Day this June 15th. This campaign, created by Men’s Health Network, aims to start the conversation on men’s health and the many resources available to learn more. Most importantly, check in with the men in your life to make sure they know how to find the proper care or resources!

Where can I learn more about men’s health services?

Start by scheduling your yearly health checkup with one of Culbertson Memorial Hospital’s healthcare providers.  Or, stop by any of our convenient clinics for more information!

 

Understanding Minority Health

It’s no secret that human beings all share similar experiences, yet have different cultures, languages, foods, and social norms. The world has become more interdependent as technology makes it easier to interact with people on the opposite side of the world. With technology increasing in all fields (to include the medical field), we learn more about our bodies and how they work every day—we even learn about how our special differences affect our bodies differently, 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. This minority group could be of racial, ethnic, sexual orientation, gender, socioeconomic class, or level of education. Research has shown that dependent on the demographic, certain illnesses or conditions can be developed over time without proper preventative health care or knowledge of the condition at all.

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?

Minority health does not center on just one type of minority population. The intersectionality of a person, or multiple identifications of various demographics, makes the issue of minority health even more complicated. For example, 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; but, a rural family of a non-Hispanic black racial demographic could be at a higher risk for developing adult diabetes due to cultural factors and in being removed from healthier food options.

Where can I learn more about minority health?

To learn more about minority health, visit any of the following websites:

To schedule an appointment for any of Culbertson’s services or to answer any questions, please feel free to contact us at (217) 322- 4321.

Also, stay tuned for National Minority Health Month next April to learn more about how you can bring awareness to the issues of minority health!

Alcohol Awareness Month

Girl on horizon in wheat field with sun setting

Each passing month marks a new chance to start healthy habits and kick out harmful ones! For some people, the knowledge that their condition comes with a full month of comradery from peers, families, and friends makes all the difference!

What is Alcohol Awareness Month?

For the general public, it symbolizes a time to understand the signs and symptoms of alcoholism and safe ways to address the problem. It could also be a chance for the community to reach out and share information about alcohol, alcohol addiction, and the recovery process.

For recovering addicts and professionals in the field, it reminds those affected to keep working to stay on the road to recovery. Alcohol Awareness Month points out the stigma that surrounds alcoholism and substance abuse to better provide more effective treatments plans for all that need it.

What is Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD)?

According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), AUD is defined as “problem drinking that becomes severe; a chronic relapsing brain disease characterized by compulsive alcohol use, loss of control over alcohol intake, and a negative emotional state when not using.”

Alcoholism, specifically, is a sub-categorization of AUD. It could also be defined as mental illness or compulsive behavior as a result of depending heavily on alcohol for some time.

When is Alcohol Awareness Month?

April 1st marks the beginning of Alcohol Awareness Month. Those affected use this month to empower each other for continued growth in a healthier lifestyle free from addictive substances.

Established in 1987 by the National Council on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NCADD), this month works to keep a healthy focus on alcohol being a problematic addictive substance for millions of people. With the growing focus on the Opioid epidemic, it’s important to keep community leaders updated on the impact of alcoholism on a person and their family.

How can I find help for myself or my loved one?

If you or someone you know needs help with an addiction, you are not alone. It’s important to know your options.

 If a non-emergency, it may be best to schedule an appointment with your local primary care provider or preferred counselor to seek their professional advice.

To learn more about AUD or Alcohol Awareness Month, visit any of the following websites:

If an emergency occurs, (e.g., alcohol poisoning, severe falling injury due to excessive intoxication, threats to harm themselves or others, etc.), call 911 immediately.

Does Culbertson offer any services to treat Alcoholism or Alcohol Use Disorder?

Yes! Our expert counseling services provide treatment and care for addictions of all kinds.

To schedule an appointment or speak to a representative, contact (217) 322- 4321 today!

Speech Therapy: It’s More Than You Think

You’re easily familiar with the terms physical therapy and occupational therapy and likely can put together a solid definition for both if asked. But, a lesser known, yet equally important type of therapy is Speech Therapy.

What is Speech Therapy?

Speech therapy evaluates and treats people with issues in swallowing, speech & language, and cognitive deficits affecting safe eating, drinking, communication, and safety. Speech therapy could also work with people that need help with written language disorders (e.g., dyslexia) and oral language disorders.

How does speech therapy work?

Speech therapists figure out the type of language problem that need to address for their patient. Sometimes that means an articulation problem, a fluency problem, or an issue with drooling or feeding. Then, the therapist will tailor the intervention strategies best fit for the patient’s needs.

What other medical issues could speech therapy help improve?

An additional focus of speech therapy could be to improve communication or swallowing abilities due to disease, injury, aging, or developmental delays.

Who is usually treated with speech therapy?

Speech therapists treat adults and children of all ages. A speech patient may find it difficult to understand what is said or may be unable to find the words they want to say, so that’s where the experts can step in to make those life skills easier.

What types of issues are treated by speech therapy?

Below, you’ll find a list of disorders that speech therapy could help treat:

      • Voice disorders
      • Language delays
      • Childhood articulation disorder
      • Communication disorder
      • Feeding problems (adult and pediatric)
      • Stuttering
      • Cognitive impairment
      • Oral motor skills (swallowing and respiratory problems
      • Video Fluoroscopy Swallow Study
      • Vital Stim Treatment for swallowing disorders
      • Augmentative and assistive communication evaluations

Where can I learn more about Culbertson’s Speech Therapy program?

To find out more information about Culbertson Memorial’s therapy programs, to include speech therapy, click here or call us at (217) 322-5286 to schedule an appointment today!

Support By People That Get It

There’s nothing like being surrounded people that just get it—sharing similar stories, providing helpful advice, and actively listening as you express your concerns. Everyone goes through hardship, but it’s how you choose to push through it that matters. And sometimes the healthiest way to handle life’s curve balls is with the support of your peers in a Senior Life Solutions program.

What is Senior Life Solutions?

Think of it as your one-stop shop for all the advice, guidance, and support you may need during a troubling time in your life. Older adults, who find themselves facing life’s many challenges, can rely on this outpatient program designed just for them.

The focus is on older adults dealing with a variety of situations or conditions affecting their lives. People seek out a program in Senior Life Solutions if dealing with any of the following conditions:

    • Anger
    • Anxiety, nervousness
    • Depressed mood
    • Difficulty Coping with Health/Physical Change
    • Difficulty Concentrating
    • Feelings of Hopelessness or Helplessness
    • Isolation or Loneliness
    • Low Self-Esteem
    • Personality Changes
    • Sleep or Appetite Changes
    • Unresolved Grief
    • Recently Experienced a Traumatic Event
    • Loss of Spouse or Close Family Member
    • Difficulty Sleeping

What can I expect from this?

Short answer? Partnership. You can expect a safe gathering space to express any concerns or issues you are facing. Whether a decline of physical ability, loss of a loved one, or anything in-between, the compassionate provider team (and your peers) are ready to help get you through it.

 Who would be treating me?

Your well-rounded treatment team would consist of a multi-disciplinary group of providers designed to ensure you have the best quality patient care possible. Along with the patient, family members, and the family doctor, your team could include:

    • Medical Director – Psychiatrist
    • Primary Therapist – LCPC or LCSW
    • RN
    • CNA – clerk

How is the Senior Life Solutions program run at Culbertson?

Choose between group, individual, and family therapy as well as medication management for behavioral health diagnosis. Medicare B (with secondary insurance) or Medicaid may cover your care.

The voluntary programs usually run 8-12 weeks for 2-4 days per week, Monday – Friday. Your treatment is kept confidential and no physician referral is needed. Plus, a noon meal is served during the day!

Please contact us at (217) 322- 4321 to schedule your program or ask any additional questions.

 

A Simple Registration Saves Lives

You read it all the time: “register here for an exclusive coupon” or “sign-up now to receive a gift card.” The constant ads that crowd your email about the latest consumer goods get tiring. In these instances, registration seems like an invasion of your privacy—but what if registering could save a life…or three?

Why should I register to be an organ donor?

We all know that the human body is the ultimate group project. Each body system works together to keep you living your life. Unfortunately, some people might experience some trauma, disease, or dysfunction with their organ-based body systems. Sometimes these failures require a transplant of the dying organ for a healthy one—that’s where you step in!

How can I help?

Organ donation saves lives. To help, you can start with registering as a donor online. Your legacy could live on through the post-mortem donation of essential organs to bring back life to someone else. But, respecting your bodily autonomy—even after death—is important, too.

What can I expect of the registration process?

Your legal consent to be a donor comes in the form of registration in your state. Signing up does not guarantee that every tissue or organ will be donated. Usually, registration takes place several years before a donation even becomes possible.

If I were seriously hospitalized, will my medical services be negatively affected because I am a donor?

Absolutely not. If you were to need serious medical help for a traumatic event or long-term disease, you would still be the hospital’s priority. Your status as a donor does not come into play until the providers have done everything medically possible to save your life.

Brain death must occur before the donation process can begin. People cannot “come back” from brain death, so once that’s established, donation becomes a possibility.

For more information on your local Organ Procurement Organization (OPO), click here.

How is the donation process authorized?

The OPO representative searches if the deceased has registered as a donor. If not registered, the next of kin will be asked for authorization. After authorization, a medical evaluation takes place—including the complete medical history from the family.

Where can I learn more?

It’s important to be well-informed about the donation process. To keep learning about the matching process, recovering and transporting process, and the actual transplanting of lifesaving donations, click here.

Occupational and Physical Therapy aren’t the same?

Do you know the difference?

What is Occupational Therapy?

Occupational Therapy focuses on the rehabilitation of a patient’s physical symptoms, together with the emotional need to accomplish day to day living skills. Occupational Therapy may work with people from newborn to older adults with an illness or disability to do things that are important to them (i.e. dressing, eating, preparing food, etc.) They can also work with patients who have mental illnesses or emotional conditions, which may limit one’s ability to perform daily tasks.

Occupational Therapy work to make the necessary changes to a patient’s environment, a method of doing a task, and overall mindset to help their patients live a fulfilled life regardless of the disability or illness.

 What is Physical Therapy?

Both types of therapy handle the rehabilitation of any physical or cognitive disability, temporary ailment, or injury due to an accident. Physical Therapy, however, focuses on improving a patient’s ability to perform movements of the body. Physical Therapy zones in on the physical, bioscience side of an injury to treat it with guided exercises, postural training, and other techniques.

Can a patient require both Physical Therapy and Occupational Therapy?

Yes! A patient suffering from an injury may need Physical Therapy to help rebuild critical muscle movement before relearning key aspects to daily living in occupational therapy. For example, a person recovering from a stroke may need to rebuild lost muscle from the affected area, but only Occupational Therapy works with the patient towards reestablishing those necessary life skills.

What types of Occupational Therapy does Culbertson specialize in?

Culbertson’s Occupational Therapy team evaluate and treat patients of all ages with physical, sensory, or cognitive dysfunctions which affect their ability to function in their daily lives. From elbow, hand, and wrist injuries to training in social and self-care activities, Culbertson providers want their patients to excel beyond their physical goals and feel satisfied with their entire wellbeing. A patients ability to succeed at the job of living is the ultimate goal for each of our patients.

For a complete list of condition specializations, click here!

When does Culbertson offer Therapy Services?

The outpatient therapy department can be reached via the main office at (217) 322- 5286. Appointments are available Monday – Friday from 8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

In order 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.

Contact us with any questions or to set up an Occupational Therapy appointment!

Think fast—Are you spring break body ready?

Healthy food options of salmon, chicken, lettuce, bread, milk, strawberries and peppers

It’s mid-March and you’re looking forward to the blossoming warmth of Spring. As the weather heats up and the artic layers of clothing slowly shed off, you might be googling the latest “get fit quick” crash diet popularized by your favorite (maybe not so favorite?) social media celebrity. But we already have the secret to an amazing warm-weather body: you already have it!

What food should I eat?

The best body type is one that’s well-fed with healthy and yummy foods as appropriate to your personal needs. There is more than one way to eat healthfully and everyone has their own eating style. Your culture, personal preferences, traditions, and budget help shape the foods your family enjoys. So, branch out! Healthy food does not equal tasteless food. Look up those slow cooker meals or ask Grandma for the stew recipe she just posted on Facebook—your palate will thank you.

How do I fit healthier eating into my busy life?

Life gets in the way of always planning a perfect plate of the most nutrient-dense foods. We get it. But, you can slowly integrate healthy changes into your family’s favorite recipes.

    1. Oodles of Noodles Pasta night is a family favorite, right? Try switching out those wheat flour noodles for a whole-grain variety. If you’re feeling extra saucy, use a vegetable alternative like zucchini or spaghetti squash!
    2. Fats are…good? Well, some are! Use healthy fats (avocado, olive, nut) as cooking oils to replace butter.
    3. Go Explore Switch it up with global varieties of your favorite food. Try out some Mediterranean or Asian dishes—they tend to be healthier while losing no tastiness!
    4. Be Mindful Keep portions reasonable when loading up your plate with food goodies! Actively try to load half your plate with fruits or veggies at every meal to get the maximum nutrient intake.

Aim for a variety of foods and beverages from each food group and limit saturated fat, sodium, and added sugars!

What about my favorite sweet treat?

 Eat the cookie! There is nothing wrong with treating yourself to your favorite treat. Still try to limit saturated fat, excess sodium, and added sugars, but completely avoiding those guilty pleasures could do more harm than good later. Rule of thumb? Eat it because you want to eat it, not because you may be bored at work and there’s donuts in the breakroom.

What if I have questions about my nutrition?

Culbertson Memorial Hospital offers Nutritional Counseling with a Registered Dietitian every Wednesday. To schedule an appointment, please contact Patient Registration at 217-322-4321 ext. 5271.

Maybe that 5th cup of coffee is a sign of a bigger problem?

Let’s face it, most of us will commonly hit an afternoon slump where coffee or some tasty caffeinated beverage helps get us over the hump.  And, there are times in our lives where we constantly feel tired due to working late nights, caring for a newborn, cramming for finals or a multitude of other activities. BUT, if you are noticing more times than not, your overwhelming feeling of tiredness is not going away, or you have abnormal sleep patterns or consistently lack sleep, you might be dealing with a sleep disorder.

The CDC estimates that more than 1/3rd American adults don’t get the sleep they need.

What are the warning signs of a sleep disorder?

  • Constant fatigue and irritability, even after getting 7 – 8 hours of sleep a night
  • Difficulty concentrating throughout the day
  • Drinking caffeine (or taking other stimulants) to keep you awake during the day
  • Taking more than 30 minutes to fall asleep regularly
  • Waking up multiple times in the middle of the night with difficulty falling back to sleep
  • Loud snoring, breathing or gasping noises while you sleep
  • Frequent napping
  • Falling asleep at inappropriate times
  • Waking up unusually early
  • Experiencing an irresistible urge to move your legs or a tingling or crawling feeling in the legs, around bedtime

What should I do if I think I have a sleep disorder?

If you can identify with some or many of the items listed above, start journaling and becoming aware of your experiences.  Keep a log of everything you are going through and then schedule an appointment to see your doctor.  The more you can arm yourself with information, the better your doctor can work with you to diagnose your problem.  Depending on your situation, a sleep study might also be necessary.  These studies are done through sleep labs which observe your heart, brain and breathing functions during sleep.  They can help determine if you are suffering from a sleep disorder.

A staggering 40 million people are estimated to suffer from some sort of long-term sleep disorder as reported by the National Institutes of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.

What are the most common sleep disorders?

Believe it or not, but there are over 70 different sleep disorders!  Luckily, they are grouped into three categories: lack of sleep, disturbed sleep, and excessive sleep.  The most common disorders are:

  • Insomnia – difficulty falling asleep, staying asleep, waking early, fatigue
  • Sleep Apnea – breathing is interrupted and temporarily stops during sleep; heavy snoring can be a sign of this
  • Restless Leg Syndrome – Occurs during resting periods like sleep or sitting for a long period of time with lack of movement; legs have irresistible urge to move, can be accompanied by tingling
  • Narcolepsy – Uncontrollable episodes of falling asleep during the day and excessive daytime sleepiness.

Suffering from a sleep disorder can really put your health at risk.  Being well rested helps support your body’s ability to fight sickness, promote healthy cell growth, think clearly, physically function effectively and overall alertness.  It is important to not ignore your tiredness.  Untreated sleep disorders can lead to more serious health issues like high blood pressure, depression, stroke, and heart attacks.

Remember, knowledge is power and for most sleep disorders, they can be easily managed once they are properly diagnosed.