News Releases -
Health, Medicine & Nutrition
Written by Ann Black
Monday, 18 July 2011 13:16
New national television ad, grassroots activities, and Capitol Hill blitz tell lawmakers, “Seniors are not pushovers.”
Washington, DC—Today, AARP launched its latest wave of efforts, centered around a new direct-message television ad, urging Congress and the President to make responsible decisions during the deficit reduction debate by cutting waste and closing loopholes instead of cutting critical Medicare and Social Security benefits that millions of Americans have earned through a lifetime of hard work.
The new, multi-million dollar advertisement is AARP’s third focusing specifically on the deficit debate, and begins airing today nationally and in local markets. In addition to the TV ads, AARP leaders are hitting Capitol Hill to urge their Members of Congress to oppose cuts to Social Security and Medicare benefits as part of a deal to pay the nation’s bills. AARP is keeping up the pressure on Congress and the President by engaging its millions of members to make their voices heard through direct mail, phone calls, email alerts, publications, and tele-townhall meetings.
“We’re taking the voice of older Americans to the airwaves, to Capitol Hill and across the country,” said Nancy LeaMond, AARP Executive Vice President. “Don’t cut the Social Security and Medicare benefits seniors have earned.”
AARP will air the television spot beginning July 13. The television ad script follows here:
“I’m a grandfather. A retired teacher. And I count on Social Security.
“Here’s what I’m not…
“Right now, some in Washington want to make a deal cutting the Social Security and Medicare benefits we worked for.
“With billions in waste and loopholes, how could they look at us?
“Maybe we seem like an easy target…
“Until you realize…
“…there are 50 million of us.
“Tell the politicians to cut waste and loopholes, not our benefits.”
To date, nearly 4.5 million petitions have been signed and will be delivered to Congress, and over 500,000 calls and emails have gone into congressional offices and to the White House over the past several weeks urging elected leaders to protect Medicare and Social Security from harmful cuts as part of a deal to raise the debt ceiling.
LeaMond added: “We know Washington needs to make tough decisions to reduce the deficit, but they should make responsible decisions instead of cutting the Social Security and Medicare benefits that seniors have worked for their entire lives.”
To view the new television ad and learn about AARP’s campaign, visit www.aarp.org/protectseniors.
AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization with a membership that helps people 50+ have independence, choice and control in ways that are beneficial and affordable to them and society as a whole. AARP does not endorse candidates for public office or make contributions to either political campaigns or candidates. We produce AARP The Magazine, the definitive voice for 50+ Americans and the world's largest-circulation magazine with nearly 35 million readers; AARP Bulletin, the go-to news source for AARP's millions of members and Americans 50+; AARP VIVA, the only bilingual U.S. publication dedicated exclusively to the 50+ Hispanic community; and our website, AARP.org. AARP Foundation is an affiliated charity that provides security, protection, and empowerment to older persons in need with support from thousands of volunteers, donors, and sponsors. We have staffed offices in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
News Releases -
Health, Medicine & Nutrition
Written by NIA Media Group
Monday, 18 July 2011 10:11
Risk of heat-related problems increases with age
Older people can face risks related to hot weather. As people age, their bodies lose some ability to adapt to heat. They may have medical conditions that are worsened by heat. And their medications could reduce their ability to respond to heat.
The National Institute on Aging (NIA), part of the National Institutes of Health, has some advice for helping older people avoid heat-related illnesses, known collectively as hyperthermia.
Hyperthermia occurs when the body overheats. Conditions involving hyperthermia have different names, including heat stroke, heat fatigue, heat syncope (lightheadedness or fainting in the heat), heat cramps and heat exhaustion.
Health-related factors that may increase the risk of hyperthermia include:
- Pre-existing diseases such as congestive heart failure, diabetes and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
- Decreased ability to move around
- Dementia or cognitive impairment
- Certain medications that may cause dehydration or that may affect the responses to heat by the heart, blood vessels or sweat glands.
- Being substantially overweight
- Drinking alcoholic beverages
- Being dehydrated
- Age-related changes in the skin, such as decreased functioning of small blood vessels and sweat glands
Lifestyle factors that can also increase the risk of hyperthermia include hot living quarters, lack of transportation, overdressing, visiting overcrowded places, and not understanding how to respond to weather conditions. Older people, particularly those at special risk, should pay attention to any air pollution alert in effect. People without fans or air conditioners should go to shopping malls, movie theaters, libraries or other places with air conditioning. In addition, they can visit cooling centers which are often provided by government agencies, religious groups and social service organizations in many communities.
Heat stroke is an advanced form of hyperthermia. It occurs when the body is overwhelmed by heat and unable to control its temperature. In heat stroke, the body temperature is at least 104 degrees Fahrenheit. Someone with heat stroke may have a strong rapid pulse, lack of sweating, dry flushed skin, faintness, staggering and mental status changes such as confusion, combativeness, disorientation or even coma. Seek immediate medical attention for a person with any of these symptoms, especially an older adult.
If you suspect that someone is suffering from a heat-related illness:
- Move them into an air conditioned or other cool place
- Urge them to lie down and rest
- Remove or loosen tight-fitting or heavy clothing
- Encourage them to drink water or juices if they are able to drink without choking, but avoid alcohol and caffeine
- Apply cold water, ice packs or cold wet cloths to the skin.
- Get medical assistance as soon as possible.
The NIA leads the federal government effort conducting and supporting research on aging and the health and well-being of older people. The Institute’s broad scientific program seeks to understand the nature of aging and to extend the healthy, active years of life. For more information on research, aging, and health, go to www.nia.nih.gov
About the National Institutes of Health (NIH):
NIH, the nation's medical research agency, includes 27 Institutes and Centers and is a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. NIH is the primary federal agency conducting and supporting basic, clinical, and translational medical research, and is investigating the causes, treatments, and cures for both common and rare diseases. For more information about NIH and its programs, visit www.nih.gov
News Releases -
Health, Medicine & Nutrition
Written by Kimberly Greene
Monday, 11 July 2011 14:09
International Royalty and Runners-Up Lose Combined Total of More than 850 Pounds!
Dione Housden of Portland, Ore., was crowned 2010 International Queen with an incredible total weight loss of 228.5 pounds. Tom Carano of Wakefield, Mass., 2010 International King, lost an equally impressive total of 230 pounds. Royalty are those individuals who, at the end of the year, have officially recorded the largest weight loss from their original, starting weight to goal weight, regardless of the time taken to reach goal.
MILWAUKEE, WI – Recognition is an important element of any journey to overall wellness – but a little friendly competition can make it more fun along the way. Members of TOPS Club, Inc. (Take Off Pounds Sensibly), the nonprofit weight-loss support organization, were recently celebrated for their weight-loss efforts at its annual three-day event, International Recognition Days (IRD). This year’s event took place July 7 through July 9 in Milwaukee, Wis., the city where TOPS was founded more than 63 years ago and is currently headquartered. The festivity honored TOPS award winners who, with determination, perseverance, and support from fellow members, achieved the greatest weight loss in their category in 2010.
“I hadn’t been to a doctor in many, many years and finally decided that it was time one day in 2007,” says Housden. “I affectionately call that doctor’s visit ‘the day I found out I was dying.’ No, not literally, but yes, I was killing myself. I knew something had to be done. I went to a diabetes class, saw a nutritionist, and joined TOPS. I kept a food journal, weighing and measuring everything that I ate. I was being thrown a life jacket – I just had to grab hold. Eating right, exercising, and drinking plenty of water has become a part of my life now. Do I ever let go of my life preserver? Yes, sometimes I loosen my grip, but then I just grab it and hold tight again, because this time I know it means my life. Without the accountability and support of my TOPS chapter, I wouldn’t be standing here today.”
Carano notes, “At close to 500 pounds, it was an exhausting, possibly stroke-inducing chore just to reach my ankles to put my socks on. My doctor recommended weight-loss surgery, and as I reviewed information about the process, all of it stressed that healthy foods and physical activity would be needed to maintain a successful surgery. At that point, I made the decision for an honest attempt to eat healthy and get active instead of getting the procedure. I joined a water aerobics class and met a gentleman who told me about TOPS and his 60-pound weight loss. When I walked into my first TOPS meeting, I was welcomed with encouragement and hope. Being a member has given me a feeling of belonging, a sense of being part of something – which I had never known or felt previously. I truly feel wind in my sails and that the anchor has been lifted. TOPS has given me the faith to move a mountain. Today I can climb them!”
“It was a joy to celebrate our members’ weight-loss successes at this year’s IRD, particularly here in Milwaukee, where our organization was founded,” says TOPS president Barbara Cady. “Esther Manz, TOPS’ founder and first president, believed in the power of mutual support on the journey to better health and that anyone who succeeded in losing weight deserved the royal treatment. TOPS’ weight-loss ‘losers’ are truly winners in our eyes.”
International Royalty and Runners-up include:
• International Queen: Dione Housden; Portland, Ore.; 228.5 lbs.
• International King: Tom Carano; Wakefield, Mass.; 230 lbs.
• International Queen Runner-up: Sandra Burnison; Hamilton, Ontario; 190 lbs.
• International King Runner-up: Lee Hibbard; Ovid, Mich.; 202 lbs.
International Division Winners are members who lost the most weight of all TOPS members in their weight division during 2010:
State Royalty includes:
• Division 1, First Place, Female: Anne Stinebrickner; Utica, N.Y.; 161 lbs.
• Division 1, First Place, Male: Kevin Carter; Botwood, Newfoundland; 126.5 lbs.
• Division 1, Second Place, Female: Julie Vanden Berg; Zeeland, Mich.; 154.75 lbs.
• Division 1, Second Place, Male: Brian Collins; Eugene, Ore.; 116 lbs.
• Division 2, First Place, Female: Valerie Wood; St. Albert, Alberta; 109.5 lbs.
• Division 2, First Place, Male: John Gill; Russellville, Ky.; 102 lbs.
• Division 2, Second Place, Female: Shirley Pelz; Clearwater, Kan.; 105.75 lbs.
• Division 2, Second Place, Male: Clifford Harris; Port Orange, Fla.; 98.25 lbs.
• Division 3, First Place, Male: Don Whiting; Kanata, Ontario; 77.5 lbs.
• Division 3, Second Place, Female: Shari Farrell; Hamilton, Ontario; 88 lbs.
• Division 3, Second Place, Male: Anson Myers; Carlisle, Pa.; 68.5 lbs.
• Division 4, First Place, Female: Barbara Harness; Monroe, Mich.; 65.25 lbs.
• Division 4, Second Place, Female: Linda Crow; Valles Mines, Mo.; 62 lbs.
• Division 4, Second Place, Male: Jack Tenney, Jr.; Fulton, Mo.; 48 lbs.
• Division 6 (teens), First Place, Female: Heather Perry; Ledyard, Conn.; 45.5 lbs.
• Division 6 (teens), First Place, Male: James Morrison; Redkey, Ind.; 41.75 lbs.
• Division 6 (teens), Second Place, Female: Corrina Chrisman; Wayland, Mich.; 40.75 lbs.
• Division 6 (teens), Second Place, Male: Jordan Ulicki; Fort Dodge, Iowa; 39 lbs.
• Division 7, First Place, Female: Sharlean McKee; Lakeview, Ore.; 116 lbs.
• Division 7, First Place, Male: Ron Olson; Meridian, Idaho; 106.5 lbs.
• Division 7, Second Place, Female: Karla DeGreenia; Sutton, Vt.; 112.5 lbs.
• Division 8 (preteens), First Place, Female: Mary Carson; Cincinnati, Ohio; 11.75 lbs.
• Division 8 (preteens), First Place, Male: Grant Whitfield; Altoona, Pa.; 13.5 lbs.
• Division 9, First Place, Female: Donna Steiner; Greenville, N.C.; 153.25 lbs.
• Division 9, First Place, Male: Peter Copley; Midland, Ontario; 162 lbs.
• Division 9, Second Place, Female: Darcelle Numainville; Cochrane, Ontario; 152.5 lbs.
• Division 9, Second Place, Male: Anthony Spilker; Grandview, Mo.; 155.5 lbs.
• Alabama Queen: Linda Gaylor; Attalla; 66 lbs.
• Alabama King: Dale Hutchens; Huntsville; 78 lbs.
• Alaska Queen: Kathleen Daymude; Anchorage; 94.5 lbs.
• Alaska King: Roger Duncan; Kasilof; 66.5 lbs.
• Arizona Queen: Teena Conrad; Salome; 135.75 lbs.
• Arizona King: Walter Richardson; Phoenix; 61.75 lbs.
• Arkansas Queen: Karen Fritchie; Scranton; 118 lbs.
• Arkansas King: Frank Lieblang; Atkins; 21.75 lbs.
• California Queen: Diane Cannon; Napa; 97.75 lbs.
• California King: Fred Dougherty; La Puente; 55 lbs.
• Colorado Queen: Diane Bonnell; Arvada; 70.25 lbs.
• Colorado King: Dannie Thompson; Colorado Springs; 34 lbs.
• Connecticut Queen: Victoria Kolyvas; Madison; 127 lbs.
• Connecticut King: Peter Kaplenski; Bristol; 37.75 lbs.
• District of Columbia Queen: Margaret Haggerty; 15.5 lbs.
• Delaware Queen: Cornelia Mitchell; Felton; 65.5 lbs.
• Florida Queen: Jackie Christen; Iron River; 105.25 lbs.
• Florida King: Clifford Harris; Port Orange; 97.75 lbs.
• Georgia Queen: Sadie Bostick; Covington; 88 lbs.
• Georgia King: Philip Baker; Warner Robins; 63 lbs.
• Hawaii Queen: Carol Wendel; Kula; 52.25 lbs.
• Idaho Queen: Carol Applegate; Middleton; 73.5 lbs.
• Illinois Queen: Catherine Hays; White Heath; 119.75 lbs.
• Illinois King: Daniel McGinty; Port Byron; 124 lbs.
• Indiana Queen: Lori Bauch; Fort Wayne; 159 lbs.
• Iowa Queen: Corine Webb; Runnells; 76 lbs.
• Kansas Queen: April Bond; Wichita; 142 lbs.
• Kansas King: William Cunningham; Olathe; 48.5 lbs.
• Kentucky Queen: Tina Moore; Mayfield; 76.25 lbs.
• Kentucky King: John Gill; Russellville; 99.25 lbs.
• Louisiana Queen: Joleen Melancon; Golden Meadow; 126.25 lbs.
• Maine Queen: Cel Paquette; Chelsea; 129.5 lbs.
• Maine King: Richard Gile; Wales; 41 lbs.
• Maryland Queen: Rosalind Morrow; Annapolis; 106.75 lbs.
• Maryland King: Herbert Walker; Frederick; 44 lbs.
• Massachusetts Queen: Anna Corbett; Peru; 143 lbs.
• Massachusetts King: Tom Carano; Wakefield; 230 lbs.
• Michigan Queen: Ruth DeYoung; Cedar Springs; 109 lbs.
• Michigan King: Lee Hibbard; Ovid; 202 lbs.
• Minnesota Queen: Gloria Goble; Stillwater; 103.5 lbs.
• Minnesota King: Jason Heilman; Albert Lea; 18.25 lbs.
• Mississippi Queen: Jane Kay Pool; Laurel; 57 lbs.
• Mississippi King: Roger Redfern; Brandon; 28.5 lbs.
• Missouri Queen: Theresa Roe; Barnhart; 126 lbs.
• Missouri King: Joshua Hamilton; Independence; 83 lbs.
• Montana Queen: Leslie Berkey; Seeley Lake; 77 lbs.
• Montana King: Larry Bonefeole; Clinton; 28.5 lbs.
• Nebraska Queen: Betty Svanda; Ravenna; 64.5 lbs.
• Nevada Queen: Nola Reid; Mesquite; 52 lbs.
• Nevada King: Frank Bybee; Las Vegas; 42 lbs.
• New Hampshire Queen: Virginia Fairbanks; Windham; 85.5 lbs.
• New Hampshire King: Mark Papantones; Manchester; 89 lbs.
• New Jersey Queen: Nancy Duvall; Cape May; 24.25 lbs.
• New Jersey King: Robert McLaughlin; Cape May Court House; 62.75 lbs.
• New Mexico Queen: Joyce Wall; Deming; 79.75 lbs.
• New York Queen: Jaclyn House; Rochester; 128 lbs.
• New York King: Joshua Maryniewski; Lancaster; 152.25 lbs.
• North Carolina Queen: Polly Lincoln; Winston Salem; 114.5 lbs.
• North Carolina King: Charles Seighman; Albemarle; 30.5 lbs.
• North Dakota Queen: Jamie Olson; East Grand Forks; 76.5 lbs.
• Ohio Queen: Janice Ommert; Clyde; 102.5 lbs.
• Ohio King: Morgan Davies; Bluffton; 65 lbs.
• Oklahoma Queen: Bonnie Peebles; Sapulpa; 88.25 lbs.
• Oklahoma King: Robert Kuntz; Rush Springs; 30 lbs.
• Oregon Queen: Dione Housden; Portland; 228.5 lbs.
• Oregon King: Wayne Elven; Hillsboro; 75.75 lbs.
• Pennsylvania Queen: Eleanor Bird; Walnutport; 112 lbs.
• Pennsylvania King: James Kneubehl; Conneautville; 92.5 lbs.
• Rhode Island Queen: Lisa Scott; Westerly; 87.5 lbs.
• Rhode Island King: Bruno Kurowski; Manville; 31 lbs.
• South Carolina Queen: Patricia Volcke; Elgin; 86 lbs.
• South Carolina King: Stanley Kemp; Rock Hill; 50.5 lbs.
• South Dakota Queen: Marilynn Sour; Watertown; 77 lbs.
• Tennessee Queen: Kristy Griner; Hendersonville; 100.25 lbs.
• Tennessee King: Harold Griffin; Cleveland; 36.25 lbs.
• Texas Queen: Karen Norrod; Jarrell; 100 lbs.
• Texas King: Billy Bodine; Cleveland; 63.5 lbs.
• Utah Queen: Lisa Edens; Providence; 126 lbs.
• Vermont Queen: Rose Nunn; West Danville; 32.75 lbs.
• Virginia Queen: Caroline Nicholson; Strasburg; 59 lbs.
• Virginia King: John Walton; Roanoke; 48 lbs.
• Washington Queen: Penny Carson; Kalama; 135.75 lbs.
• Washington King: Brian Steinwand; West Richland; 67 lbs.
• West Virginia Queen: Brenda Rider; Shady Spring; 66 lbs.
• West Virginia King: Greg Ward; Kermit; 30 lbs.
• Wisconsin Queen: Mary Linssen; Green Bay; 106.75 lbs.
• Wisconsin King: Larry Orlando; Elkhorn; 100 lbs.
• Wyoming Queen: Linda Kolar; Thermopolis; 67.25 lbs.
Provincial Royalty includes:
TOPS Club Inc. (Take Off Pounds Sensibly), the original, nonprofit weight-loss support and wellness education organization, was established more than 63 years ago to champion weight-loss support and success. Founded and headquartered in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, TOPS promotes successful, affordable weight management with a philosophy that combines healthy eating, regular exercise, wellness information, and support from others at weekly chapter meetings. TOPS has about 170,000 members in nearly 10,000 chapters throughout the United States and Canada.
• Alberta Queen: Darlene Crick; Bonnyville; 81.25 lbs.
• Alberta King: Ken Ralstin; St. Vincent; 82.5 lbs.
• British Columbia Queen: Barbara Balon; Comox; 127.75 lbs.
• British Columbia King: Mark George; Port Moody; 86.5 lbs.
• Manitoba Queen: Linda Reavely; Winnipeg; 111.5 lbs.
• New Brunswick Queen: Lisa Will; Petitcodiac East; 115 lbs.
• New Brunswick King: Gordon Piper; Minto; 36 lbs.
• Newfoundland Queen: Mary Price; Grand Bank; 79.75 lbs.
• Nova Scotia Queen: Laura McGrath; Truro; 91.25 lbs.
• Nova Scotia King: Peter Thomson; New Minas; 48.5 lbs.
• Ontario Queen: Sandra Burnison; Hamilton; 190 lbs.
• Ontario King: Don Whiting; Kanata; 166 lbs.
• Prince Edward Island Queen: Gloria Stewart; Charlottetown; 44.75 lbs.
• Prince Edward Island King: Michael Weeks; Charlottetown; 65 lbs.
• Quebec Queen: Gisele Villeneuve; Longueuil; 100 lbs.
• Saskatchewan Queen: Melody Mills; Yorkton; 139.5 lbs.
• Saskatchewan King: Paul Morin; Edam; 37.5 lbs.
Visitors are welcome to attend their first TOPS meeting free of charge. To find a local chapter, view www.tops.org or call (800) 932-8677.
News Releases -
Health, Medicine & Nutrition
Written by Laurel White
Monday, 11 July 2011 13:42
New Laws Ensure Coverage for Trial-Related Medical Expenses, Extends ‘Ticket for the Cure’
CHICAGO – July 11, 2011. Governor Pat Quinn today signed two pieces of legislation strengthening access to healthcare for cancer patients in Illinois. House Bill 1191 prohibits insurance companies from excluding coverage for related medical costs for patients participating in clinical cancer trials, and Senate Bill 1279, extends the “Carolyn Adams Ticket for the Cure” scratch-off lottery game until 2016.
“Access to quality healthcare is a basic right, and Illinoisans – particularly those who are fighting cancer – should not be denied coverage for participating in trials that might save their lives,” said Governor Quinn. “It is important that Illinois takes the lead in increasing women’s access to new science that can save lives.”
Many patients who qualify for clinical trials – and the potential benefits of these innovative therapies – cannot access them because their insurance plans do not cover the routine care they need while participating in the trial. These uncovered expenses include the costs of medical visits, hospitals stays, clinical lab tests, scans and x-rays. The new law amends the Illinois Insurance Code so that a group insurance policy cannot deny routine patient care to an insured patient participating in a qualified clinical cancer trial.
The lack of coverage for routine care has created a barrier to patient participation in clinical trials and limited access to additional treatment options for cancer. The cost barrier has led to lower participation rates for low-income and minority women in clinical trials.
House Bill 1191 was an initiative of Susan G. Komen Foundation. Sponsored by Rep. Greg Harris (D-Chicago) and Sen. Heather A. Steans (D-Chicago), the bill passed both houses unanimously. The new law takes effect Jan. 1, 2012.
Senate Bill 1279, sponsored by Sens. Mattie Hunter (D-Chicago) and Jacqueline Y. Collins (D-Chicago) and Reps. Constance A. Howard (D-Chicago) and Mary E. Flowers (D-Chicago), extends the “Ticket for the Cure” lottery scratch-off game an additional five years, until Dec. 31, 2016. The ticket was the first nationwide lottery scratch-off game to provide grants to non-profit organizations supporting breast cancer research and education. The ticket originally was scheduled to be discontinued at the end of 2011.
Launched in 2006, the ticket was renamed in honor of former Illinois Lottery Superintendent Carolyn Adams, who died of breast cancer in 2007 at age 44. More than 8,700 Illinois women were diagnosed with breast cancer in 2010, and more than 1,700 died as a result.