Nightmare

NIGHTMARE ON “MEDICARE” STREET

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By Bob Evenson, Contributor

One word can make you cringe. One word can make you scared! One word can make you frightened…is that word “Halloween”? No, that word is MEDICARE! Yes, Medicare insurance will bring out fear and cause anxiety for many people. It can be complicated and difficult to understand. It can be scary and intimidating, but should bring peace of mind when it is needed most.

This fall offers another annual election period for Medicare Part C (Medicare Advantage Plans) and Medicare Part D (Prescription Drug Plans). Do not be afraid to understand your Medicare insurance options! With the assistance of a trained and certified insurance agent, Medicare can be less frightening and understandable.

The annual election period for Medicare Part C and Medicare Part D is from October 15, 2017 through December 07, 2017. Due to regulatory and industry changes, annual reviews are necessary to maintain an affordable and effective health insurance plan. Insurance contracts have annual rate and benefit updates. The provider and pharmacy networks can change as well as the prescription drug list or formulary. The worse time to learn about these changes is after you have incurred a claim.

This Halloween, conquer your fear of Medicare by working with a trained insurance professional at Century Health Solutions. Our staff will take the time to explain your coverage options and the plans available to meet your needs and fit your budget. After enrollment, we continue to answer your questions or assist you with claims. With our services and support, having Medicare does not have to be a scary experience!

Century Health Solutions is a subsidiary of Stormont Vail Health, Topeka, and provides free Medicare Educational Seminars to the community. We are your local expert in Medicare planning and will help you find the best option for your personal situation.

FREE MEDICARE EDUCATIONAL SEMINARS

Upcoming seminars are held at Cotton O’Neil 823 Mulvane, the Cotton O’Neil Heart Center at 929 Mulvane, or Cotton O’Neil North Clinic at 4505 NW Fielding Rd in Topeka.

10/19/17       2:00 p.m.         929 Mulvane

10/31/17       2:00 p.m.         929 Mulvane

11/02/17       2:00 p.m.         929 Mulvane

11/07/17       6:30 p.m.         4505 NW Fielding Rd

11/09/17       2:00 p.m.         929 Mulvane

11/14/17       2:00 p.m.        929 Mulvane

Call us at 785-270-4593 with questions or to sign up for a free seminar. Our business hours are Monday-Friday, 8:00am-4:30pm.

You may also go to http://www.centuryinsuranceagencyks.com or email info@century-health.com for more information.

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Osteoarthritis

IrisesBy Renea Dennison, Contributor

As we look at Bone and Joint Health National Action Week (October 12-20), it seems a good time to improve our understanding of Osteoarthritis. I think knowing our risk factors and how to reduce them is the best place to start.

Osteoarthritis symptoms include grating sensations, tenderness, and inflammation in the joints resulting in pain and stiffness (or lack of flexibility). The stiffness is worse upon waking in the morning, or long periods of non-movement. Stiffness, as well as the pain, is also worse after overuse.

Though this disease can affect anyone, the onset is gradual and most often begins after the age of 40. About one third of the population over the age of 65 has some form of Osteoarthritis. Nearly one in two will have it in their knees by age 85, and one in four will get it in their hips in their lifetimes.

Osteoarthritis tends to affect joints most heavily used such as hands, knees, hips and spines. The base of the thumb joint and the big toe are also probable targets. You are more likely to have Osteoarthritis if your parents or siblings have it, if you are older, female, obese, or have experienced some kind of joint injury.

While knee osteoarthritis is one of the leading causes of disability among adults, lifestyle changes can have a huge impact on reducing the pain and swelling. Moderate physical activity at least three times per week can reduce the risk of knee osteoarthritis disability by 47%, and just an 11 pound weight loss can half the risk of developing knee osteoarthritis in women.

Osteoarthritis does not have to stop you, or even slow you down. Moderate activity, range of motion exercises, over the counter pain medication, and joint braces if necessary can keep you living the life you love. Discuss your symptoms with your doctor so together you can create a livable plan that will keep you ready, willing and definitely able.

Century Health Solutions is a subsidiary of Stormont Vail Health, Topeka and provides free Medicare Educational Seminars. We are your local expert in Medicare insurance planning and will help you find the best option for your personal situation. Call us at 785-270-4593 with questions or to sign up for a free seminar. Our business hours are Monday-Friday, 8:00am-4:30pm.

Go to: http://www.centuryinsuranceagencyks.com or email info@century-health.com for more information.

Shingles

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By Renea Dennison, Contributor

A couple of months ago I found myself at Urgent Care seeking help for some serious abdominal pain. Over the next few days I underwent several tests and took medication, but received no relief. We were totally clueless as to what could be happening, even after a CAT scan, until the dreaded rash began to appear on my back and side nearly a week into my illness. I had shingles. It presented itself as another illness, and worked its way to the surface until it finally appeared as a rash.

When diagnosed, I was in complete shock. You see, I did not have Chicken Pox as a child. One of my children has managed to avoid it too. I assumed we were naturally immune and the shingles vaccine was unnecessary. I was wrong. Apparently you can still be a carrier, and carriers can get shingles.

One out of three people over the age of 60 will get shingles, and 50% will experience it by age 80. Worse, you can have it more than once. Shingles is a painful, itchy and burning rash that can cover a large portion of your body. You can also get it on your face or other areas, and if it gets near your eyes it can be quite dangerous.

Many people don’t realize that while you are in a blister breakout, you are contagious. That is, you can give the Chicken Pox to others who have not had it or the vaccine so you must stay quarantined until all your blisters have opened and stopped seeping. Quarantine is no fun, though less unpleasant than the rash.

Your doctor can give you anti-viral, nerve, and perhaps pain prescriptions. Even with these the illness will last 2-4 weeks and perhaps even longer. The only other thing I found for relief was ice packs and cool showers. Ointments and lotions did not help.

Believe me, this is something you want to avoid. Because you can have them over and over again, I will get the vaccine soon. I understand it’s possible to still get shingles even after you have received the vaccine, but if you do your illness is significantly less severe. So if your doctor has told you it’s time for you to get the shingles vaccine, do so. Take it from me, do it soon! Don’t wait!

Century Health Solutions is a subsidiary of Stormont Vail Health, Topeka and provides free Medicare Educational Seminars. We are your local expert in Medicare insurance planning and will help you find the best option for your personal situation. Call us at 785-270-4593 with questions or to sign up for a free seminar. Our business hours are Monday-Friday, 8:00am-4:30pm.

Go to: http://www.centuryinsuranceagencyks.com or email info@century-health.com for more information.

 

Water Aerobics

By Renea Dennison, Contributor

pool-690034_960_720Exercise is an important component of a healthy lifestyle. Those who want to live better and longer try to incorporate some type of physical activity into their day.

This can be tough if you are overweight, out of shape, an older adult, or someone recovering from a serious illness such as a heart attack. Many diseases are significantly reduced or even avoided entirely by healthy exercise such as aerobics. Running, riding your bike, dancing, and walking fast are some of the great ways to achieve the desired benefits. But if you are recovering from major surgery or have bad knees, running may not be your best option.

Fortunately, there is an enjoyable alternative. Water aerobics are simple and fun. They can be done individually or in a class and at a variety of levels. Many county and city recreational facilities offer them, as well as non profit and for profit health facilities.

You don’t even have to be able to swim! Just walking across a pool in waist high water swinging your arms will give you a bit of a work out. Of course, you should increase your activity as you improve. You can tone, improve muscle mass, give your heart the aerobic work out it deserves, and burn calories all in one fun playtime.

Consider water aerobics. It’s a great low impact activity that combines strength training as well as the ability to improve endurance. Most importantly, it is definitely heart healthy fun!

Century Health Solutions is a subsidiary of Stormont Vail Health, Topeka and provides free Medicare Educational Seminars. We are your local expert in Medicare insurance planning and will help you find the best option for your personal situation. Call us at 785-270-4593 with questions or to sign up for a free seminar. Our business hours are Monday-Friday, 8:00am-4:30pm.

Go to: http://www.centuryinsuranceagencyks.com or email info@century-health.com for more information.

Alzheimers Lest We Forget

Orange poppyBy Renea Dennison, Contributor

As our population ages, one of the most terrifying possibilities middle-aged and older people face is the potential for Alzheimer’s disease. The most common form of dementia, Alzheimer’s accounts for 60-80% of dementia cases.

Victims of Alzheimer’s struggle to focus, causing them to have trouble doing ordinary activities. Devestingly, Alzheimer’s robs people of their precious memories. They feel confused and frustrated, especially at night. Often accompanied by mood swings, it causes feelings of disorientation, difficulty communicating and eventually, physical problems.

Scientists have been unable to prove conclusively what causes Alzheimer’s, but there are links to aging and family history. There is also some evidence poor sleeping habits, cardiovascular disease and certain other preventable diseases such as diabetes can increase your chances of getting Alzheimer’s. Therefore many believe a healthy lifestyle can help prevent or delay the onset of this horrific disease.

We are not without hope when it comes to this ugly disease. Scientists understand the physical causes much better than they did twenty years ago. Nerve cells get tangles (neurofibrillary tangles) and protein deposits called beta-amyloid plaques build up in the brain.

New drugs have been introduced which significantly slow the progress of the disease. Last year a new drug trial demonstrated a medication that might actually halt the disease once it is finally introduced.

For now, there are other steps you can take besides living a healthy lifestyle and/or taking medication to prevent or postpone the disease. Alzheimer’s destroys brain synapses. You can offset this destruction by continuing to increase and grow your brain. This doesn’t mean doing crossword puzzles where you just spit out what you already know, but actually learning new things. Enlarge what is known as your cognitive reserve by increasing your education, learning a new language, or how to play an instrument. Travel somewhere new, meet new people, or do anything that is new and different to you. This way you can pave new roads in your brain to help increase your odds of being able to continue to link your emotions and your memories.

Too late? If you have a loved one with Alzheimer’s, take every step you can to reduce both their suffering and yours. Educate yourself on the symptoms, stages, and best ways to help someone with the disease. Ask your doctor questions and contact Alzheimer’s organizations. Find a support group. Don’t try to go it alone, and don’t be afraid to ask for help. Develope a routine. Plan for the future. Most importantly, never give up hope.

Century Health Solutions is a subsidiary of Stormont Vail Health, Topeka and provides free Medicare Educational Seminars. We are your local expert in Medicare insurance planning and will help you find the best option for your personal situation. Call us at 785-270-4593 with questions or to sign up for a free seminar. Our business hours are Monday-Friday, 8:00am-4:30pm.

Go to: http://www.centuryinsuranceagencyks.com or email info@century-health.com for more information.

Coming Seminar Schedule

North - Meeting RoomBy Renea Dennison, Contributor

Just a quick note to remind you that Century provides a number of free Medicare educational seminars. Annual Open Enrollment for Medicare runs October 15, 2017 through December 7, 2017 for the 2018 calendar year. This is a good time to make sure you understand what your options are. Below is a list of our current schedule of free seminars to help you understand how Medicare and its different options work. Seminars are held at 823 Mulvane, the Cotton O’Neil Heart Center at 929 Mulvane or Cotton O’Neil North Clinic at 4505 NW Fielding in Topeka. Call today at 785-270-4593 for more details.

Upcoming Seminar Dates:

  • 09/12/17 2:00 p.m. – Heart Center
  • 09/26/17 6:30 p.m. – Cotton O’Neil North
  • 10/03/17 2:30 p.m. – 823 Mulvane
  • 10/10/17 2:00 p.m. – Heart Center
  • 10/12/17 6:30 p.m. – Cotton O’Neil North
  • 10/19/17 2:00 p.m. – Heart Center
  • 10/31/17 2:00 p.m. – Heart Center
  • 11/02/17 2:00 p.m. – Heart Center
  • 11/07/17 6:30 p.m. – Cotton O’Neil North
  • 11/09/17 2:00 p.m. – Heart Center
  • 11/14/17 2:00 p.m. – Heart Center

In addition, if you are currently enrolled in a Coventry Medicare Advantage Plan in Shawnee County we will be holding meetings on Thursday, October 5th to explain the upcoming changes. Please feel free to contact us for when and where the renewal meetings will be held.

Century Health Solutions is a subsidiary of Stormont Vail Health, Topeka and provides free Medicare Educational Seminars. We are your local expert in Medicare insurance planning and will help you find the best option for your personal situation. Call us at 785-270-4593 with questions or to sign up for a free seminar. Our business hours are Monday-Friday, 8:00am-4:30pm.

Go to: http://www.centuryinsuranceagencyks.com or email info@century-health.com for more information.

 

Healthy Aging

by Renea Dennison, Contributor

DTS_BMX1_8 Ride bike into sunsetThe end of August seems like a good time to discuss healthy aging, as September, among other things, is designated Healthy Aging Month. Hopefully you already do things to help keep your mind and body healthy and young such as eating right, exercising, getting plenty of rest, and spending time with loved ones. These steps make us all feel more healthy and energetic regardless of age.

However, a large portion of the population is now over 45, and if that includes you there may be a few more things you can do to improve your health and wellness. Here are some (paraphrased) ideas from the editors of “Healthy Aging Magazine”:

Stop acting your age. Do you look in the mirror and think about how old you are? Stop it! Instead, think of your favorite age (35, 50, etc.) and act as if you are that age.

Be positive. No complaining! To go along with this, also avoid pessimistic and complaining friends and family and negative programs such as the news. This is probably the hardest suggestion to take, but can truly make a huge difference in your life. And who knows? You may be able to influence a Debbie Downer to turn their attitude around.

Body language counts. Stand straight and tall, shoulders back and chin up. Walk like a vibrant, healthy person with your heel first. Smile. It may sound silly, but science has proven it matters.

Lonely? Make new friends by volunteering, taking a class, tutoring someone, or just invite someone out. Make a point to go out at least once a week. You can also walk your dog (a great conversation starter) or volunteer at your local animal shelter (ah…puppy love.)

Discover your inner artist. It is not too late to learn to play the piano or the violin. Take an oil painting class or learn to work with wood or anything that interests you.

Being healthy includes a healthy mind. How you live your life is up to you. Make it count!

Century Health Solutions is a subsidiary of Stormont Vail Health, Topeka and provides free Medicare Educational Seminars. We are your local expert in Medicare insurance planning and will help you find the best option for your personal situation. Call us at 785-270-4593 with questions or to sign up for a free seminar. Our business hours are Monday-Friday, 8:00am-4:30pm.

Go to: http://www.centuryinsuranceagencyks.com or email info@century-health.com for more information.