General Health

Children’s Dental Health Month

February is National Children’s Dental Health Month, so it’s a good time to remind everyone – adults and children alike – that your oral health is important to your overall health. Practicing good oral health habits such as daily brushing and flossing and regular dental visits are easy steps toward keeping teeth and gums healthy at every age.

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Dementia Caregivers – A New Training Curriculum

Back in September, on World Alzheimer’s Day, we addressed some general knowledge about Alzheimer’s and related dementias. We also talked about the number of people in Idaho suffering from the disease, the outlook, and some of the things being done about it.

Today 24,000 people in Idaho aged 65 and older have Alzheimer’s; in just eight years, that number is expected to climb to 33,000. It’s the sixth leading cause of death in Idaho. The Medicaid costs of caring for Alzheimer’s and dementia patients in Idaho in 2015 was $125 million; that number is expected to increase by 60% to $200 million by 2025.

Recently, the Health Resources & Services Administration (HRSA), which supports the training of health professionals in the United States, came out with some new training modules that focus on Alzheimer’s and related dementias. These are in addition to their basic dementia training curriculum and specifically address caregivers of People Living with Dementia (PLwD). According to their website, currently more than five million Americans live with Alzheimer’s disease. And ultimately, one out of every three Americans will die from Alzheimer’s disease or another dementia.

The 11 supplemental training modules are designed to help providers understand the needs of caregivers of PLwD (four modules) and to directly assist family and other caregivers take care of themselves and cope with the challenges of caring for PLwD (seven modules).

Modules for Providers:

Module 1: Providers and Caregivers as Allies

Module 2: The Provider’s Role in Shared Decision-Making with Caregivers, Families, and Persons Living with Dementia

Module 3: How Clinicians Can Interact Effectively with Caregivers

Module 4: Taking Care of Those Caring for Persons Living with Dementia


Modules for Caregivers:

Module 1: Caregiving for Persons Living with Dementia (Faculty Guide)

Module 2: The Caregiver Role in Shared Decision-Making with Persons Living with Dementia (Faculty Guide)

Module 2a: Assisted Living Facility Considerations (Faculty Guide)

Module 2b: What to Consider When Choosing a Nursing Home (Faculty Guide)

Module 3: Working with the Healthcare Team (Faculty Guide)

Module 4: Caregiver Self-Care (Faculty Guide)

Module 5: Addressing Behaviors in Dementia (Faculty Guide)


To access the learning modules, visit the HRSA website at 

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ParkRx and the Eco-Therapy Movement

You’ve probably heard of psychotherapy, equine therapy, and group therapy, but what about ecotherapy? Ecotherapy is a nationwide trend that’s working to add one more tool to the array healthcare providers use to integrate care across the medical health neighborhood. The philosophy behind the trend is that prescribing specific interactions with nature like walking and exploring local parks will benefit patients with chronic conditions such as depression, diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure, and ADHD. It’s gaining acceptance in mainstream medicine and carrying more weight with patients when prescribed by a doctor.

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Influenza Immunization: Continuing Education Credit Opportunity

The National Foundation for Infectious Diseases (NFID) has partnered with mdBriefCase Group Inc. to offer a complimentary online Continuing Medical Education (CME) activity offering strategies to help prevent influenza in patients age 65 years and older. This on-demand program provides a framework for counseling adults age 65 years and older on the importance of annual influenza vaccination through case-based scenarios and can benefit all providers in all task areas.

Upon completion of this activity, participants will be able to:

  • Describe the benefit of influenza vaccination in adults age 65 years and older
  • List the vaccine options available for seasonal influenza vaccination of adults age 65 years and older
  • Differentiate vaccine products approved for seasonal influenza in adults age 65 years and older
  • Effectively counsel older adult patients about the importance of seasonal influenza vaccination
  • Please note that participants will be required to create an mdBriefCase account to access the online program, but there is no fee to participate in this activity.

If interested, the program can be accessed at Influenza Prevention Strategies.

National Influenza Vaccination Week

National Influenza Vaccination Week: December 3-9, 2017

National Influenza Vaccination Week (NIVW) is a national awareness week to remind everyone six months and older that it’s not too late to get a flu vaccine. NIVW is a national observance established in 2005 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to highlight the importance of continuing influenza vaccination after the holiday season and beyond.

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November – National Diabetes Awareness Month

This is a reprint of a November 9th article in Headline News which is a publication of the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare.

Diabetes is a huge health problem for so many here in Idaho: Nearly 600,000 Idaho adults have prediabetes and are at risk for developing type 2 diabetes, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  The American Diabetes Association reports that around 8 million Americans have diabetes and many don’t know it. November is Diabetes Awareness Month, so it’s a good time to learn what you can do to prevent the disease or get help managing it.

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