The next few weeks undoubtedly are challenging in many ways. Staying focused on health and wellness during the busy holiday season may seem impossible. Maintaining your body weight can be difficult and studies show that the average person gains between 1-5 pounds during the winter holidays. The "Maintain Don't Gain Challenge" will encourage you to practice habits that are supportive of maintaining your weight while you celebrate a healthy holiday season!
National Diabetes month is observed in November. The theme this year is "Diabetes is a Family Affair." Diabetes is a challenging disease that affects the entire family in many ways. If you are living with diabetes or have a loved one with the disease, family support is very important when it comes to managing diabetes and preventing serious health problems. It is also important to know that if you have a family history of diabetes – such as a mother, father, brother, or sister – you are at a greater risk for developing type 2 diabetes.
To all Medicare beneficiaries: I know you are aware that open enrollment for Medicare Part D has begun. Beginning 10/15/13 through 12/07/13, you have the opportunity to examine options available with the private insurance companies that offer prescription drug coverage through Medicare Part D for 2014. I can tell you that there are significant changes in the plans from 2013 based on the people I have assisted already, so it is really important that you review your coverage for 2014. Everyone should have received a packet from the current insurance company with projected changes for 2014 ...
Do you know how the new health care law will affect you? The Affordable Care Act (also known as health care reform or Obamacare) was passed into law in March 2010 and upheld by the Supreme Court in July 2012. Some provisions, like children staying on their parents´ insurance up to age 26 and prescription drug discounts to help close the "donut hole" for Medicare seniors, started immediately. However, the biggest changes under the Affordable Care Act are set to begin on Jan. 1, 2014.
Shirley Endlsey of Great Bend recently returned from Topeka where she participated in the 30th Annual Kansas Silver Haired Legislature as a Delegate from Barton County. The organization, established by the Kansas Legislature, consists of individuals, aged 60 and older, elected by their peers to develop bills and resolutions that are of interest to Kansas Seniors and their families.
By the time you read this I will be heading back to the office after a most memorable trip that combined business and pleasure. In mid-September, my husband, John, and I loaded up the van, (complete with tandem bike) and headed east. Our first stop was at the K-State campus where I picked up the poster that I would share during a session at the Galaxy Conference for Extension Professionals in Pittsburgh, PA. The conference had nearly 3,000 registered from all of the different areas of Extension programming. It was fun sharing my "Action Plan for Healthy Living" with ...
Kristina Tajchman, daughter of Lloyd and Gerry Boger of Great Bend, recently returned from a two-month trip to Munich, Germany, and Prague, Czech Republic, where she took part in several international energy conferences. She was accompanied on the trip by her sister, Renee, and nephew, Justin Owen, of Great Bend.
Living in the wide open spaces of Kansas helps a person appreciate the relatively clean air quality outdoors. But since many people spend a significant amount of time indoors, October is the perfect time to be reminded of indoor air quality.
Did you have a chance to visit the showcase of 4-H talent in 4-H Centennial Hall at the Kansas State Fair? If not, put that on your bucket list and plan to visit the Fair next year. You will be impressed with the exhibits on display.
Since September is designated as Food Safety Awareness Month it provides the perfect time to share reminders about this serious topic. Who out there hasn't experienced flu like symptoms and blamed it on something they ate? The truth is that most of the food borne illnesses begin with symptoms like nausea, diarrhea, and even fever. Taking a few minutes to reinforce some of the most important food safety rules will hopefully help you beat the odds of ever experiencing a foodborne illness.
A new national report reveals that "bath salts," a group of drugs containing amphetamine-type stimulants, were linked to an estimated 22,904 visits to hospital emergency departments in 2011. The report by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) is the first national study to track bath salts drugs to hospital emergency department visits since these drugs emerged a few years ago.
Every Hero Has a Story is the theme for the Summer Reading Program at Ellinwood School/Community Library. Students are enjoying hero-based activities as they continue to read to meet their goals. Our participants are beginning to earn prizes; our 4th, 5th, and 6th graders made blankets for the Humane Society to use for the pets that are waiting for a good home; and all are being led by Shatlyn Thomas with the assistance of Michele Martin and Julie Blakeslee.
Harvest is here. Combines, trucks, chaff and grain. Kansas big heart is beating in the hot sun and wind. The heritage of history to support our families and validate the wisdom of our forefathers who risked everything to come here is palpable and visible in the faces of our farmers. It is religious to watch this process draw families, neighbors, custom-cutting visitors and friends together to process the harvest. It was nail-biting to get the rain and risk not getting into the fields in time. Kansas seems to grin at that possibility and solved the problem with 100 degrees and ...
Next week marks the beginning of my 26th year as your Barton County Family and Consumer Science Agent. The old adage "Time flies when you are having fun" is definitely true. It does not seem like a year has passed since I was ordering bread for the 4-H barbecue or lining up roasters for preparing the baked beans. Hopefully you have connected with a 4-H member to purchase your barbecue ticket. Prices do increase after July 1st.
I hope that your family takes time to celebrate with dad on his special day. Not a day goes by that I don't think of my own father. Even though he's been gone nearly 10 years I appreciate the role model he was to our family. A hard working farmer, he was totally outnumbered with a wife and three daughters. He taught us a lot of things and provided opportunities for us to attend college. He even took the time to be a 4-H community club leader for many years. He was a wonderful caregiver to my mother ...