HEALTH SMARTS FOR EVERYONE

from Dorothy Ellerbroek, your parish nurse

Signs of stroke: FAST, that is facial drooping, arm weakness, sudden speech difficulty. Time to call 911.

Signs of heart attack (symptoms vary from mild to severe; some or several of the symptoms listed here may or may not occur): chest pain or discomfort (fullness, pressure, squeezing); discomfort in other parts of the upper body including but not limited to pain in arm, jaw, upper back between shoulder blades; shortness of breath, cold sweat, nausea, dizziness. For some people, they describe chest pain “like an elephant sitting on my chest” while other symptoms are more mild. DO NOT IGNORE THESE THINGS.

The seven warning signs of cancer: To remember the seven early warning signs of cancer, think of the word CAUTION: Change in bowel or bladder habits; a sore that does not heal; unusual bleeding or discharge; thickening or lump in the breast, testicles, or elsewhere; indigestion or difficulty swallowing; obvious change in the size, color, shape, or thickness of a wartmole, or mouth sore; nagging cough or hoarseness.

SUICIDE HOTLINE # 612-379-6363

CPR/AED: take a class through American Red Cross or American Heart Association; load the app to your smart phone

Heimlich maneuver for choking: same as above for CPR as well as the app for phone

Discard out-dated Rx

Wear seat belts

Have regular dental check-ups and care

To supplement most physical and mental health therapies: maintain a reasonably healthy diet, exercise regularly, sleep seven-nine hours/night, maintain social connections and community participation

Advance planning: medical, legal, environmental/housing, social/community – resources available upon request. READ the book “Being Mortal,” by Dr Atul Gawande

Signs and symptoms of Alzheimer's disease:

  • Memory loss that disrupts daily life
  • Challenges in planning and/or solving problems
  • Difficulty completing familiar tasks
  • Confusion about time or place
  • Trouble understanding visual images or spatial relationships
  • New problems with words in speaking or writing
  • Misplacing things and losing the ability to retrace steps
  • Decreased or poor judgment
  • Withdrawal from work or social activities
  • Changes in mood and personality