Sunday, November 24, 2019

Protect Yourself from the Deadly Flu Virus - Avoid Death from this Serious Disease!

During a typical winter, thousands of people in the United States die of the flu.  According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, "the CDC estimates that influenza has resulted in between 9 million and 45 million illnesses, between 140,000 and 810,000 hospitalizations, and between 12,000 and 61,000 deaths annually since 2010."  Many of the deaths are in people over the age of 65.  Now that we also have to worry about deaths from Covid-19, it is more important than ever that people do everything they can to avoid getting the flu. Not only can it be hard for doctors to quickly determine whether your symptoms are influenza or Covid-19, but it is possible for you to get both, either simultaneously, or one after the other.  In your weakened state, this is even more likely to end in death or a prolonged illness with organ damage.
Despite the seriousness of the flu, which is highly contagious, approximately 43 percent of Americans typically do not get the flu vaccine. My husband, because of his chronic kidney disease, is one of millions of Americans who are immune compromised.  Sadly, many of the Americans who decide to skip the flu shot are not only putting themselves at risk, but they are also risking the lives of some of their loved ones, especially young children and anyone they know who is elderly, sick or otherwise immune compromised. By not getting the flu shot, they are putting the lives of their loved ones at risk.  This is why being a CDC Flu Fighter is so important to me.

What makes it even more surprising that many people will not get the flu shot is the fact that most senior citizens, and many younger Americans, are able to get the shot for free or at a very low cost.  Many insurance companies, pharmacies, workplaces, and community centers offer the shot, so it typically does not require a trip to your doctor's office.  Even if you are reading this article late in the winter or early spring, it is not too late to get an influenza vaccination.  As long as the flu is still spreading in your area, the vaccine can lower your risk of becoming seriously ill.

It is very important that as many people as possible get the flu vaccine, so we can reduce the spread of the disease each winter.  Many senior citizens have underlying health issues which make them more vulnerable to the flu.  Because of this, they rely on the general public to take precautions, so that the vulnerable people are less likely to be exposed.  If you know someone who has heart disease, cancer, kidney disease, or any other serious health problem, the last thing they need is to be exposed to the flu.  The CDC estimates that flu vaccines reduce the risk of an adult being hospitalized for influenza by about 40 percent.  The vaccine also reduces the risk that someone with heart disease will have a cardiac event caused by the flu.
In addition to getting the vaccine, you can protect yourself even more by continuing with the same preventative measures you are using to protect yourself from Covid-19. Maintain social distancing from others, participate in outdoor activities and avoid those indoors, and wear a face mask whenever you are near others.  (Ad)

High Dose Flu Vaccine for Senior Citizens

Older Americans may find it particularly helpful to be given a stronger vaccine than the one given to younger adults.  Fluzone High-Dose is an injected flu vaccine which has been formulated specifically for people who are age 65 years and older. It is like other flu vaccines in that it is made up of the three flu strains which experts believe are most likely to cause the flu during the upcoming season.  The benefit to senior citizens, whose immune system is probably weaker than that of younger adults, is that the high-dose vaccine is more likely to boost their immunity if they are exposed to the flu, because it is significantly stronger.

What You Should Know About the Flu

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other public health workers are very concerned about the danger posed by the flu.  As a result, contacted me and asked if I would publish their "Flu Prevention Resource Sheet for Healthcare Workers, Teachers and Concerned Parents" and become a CDC Flu Fighter.  I was pleased to be able to help.  The links below, many of them from the CDC, will be useful to anyone who wants more information about the influenza vaccine, how to prevent the flu, and healthy hygiene. Feel free to forward this free, public information to anyone you believe will benefit from it.  You can also click on the various links and download the resources which are provided.  This resource sheet should answer virtually any question someone has about influenza.  The more people we can encourage to take appropriate precautions, the less severe the flu season is likely to be.

The Flu Prevention Resource Sheet
for Healthcare Workers, Teachers and Concerned Parents

provided by

The U.S. flu season is just beginning, and can last until May (with peak infections hitting between December and February). While it’s far too early to predict the severity of this year’s flu season in the U.S., physicians are encouraging everyone to vaccinate ahead of the anticipated peak infection times.

The following resources serve as a guide for healthcare workers, teachers and concerned parents seeking additional flu-related facts and information.

Remember: stay healthy and stay informed!

Flu Prevention Resources

The CDC's Flu Guide

Emergency Flu Symptoms
Pay attention to particular symptoms such as difficulty breathing, shortness of breath, and chest pain or severe abdominal pain which indicate a need to go to the hospital. Check out all symptoms and more information.

Flu Prevention
Prevent the flu to the best of your ability by taking certain key steps such as vaccinating and keeping your hands and common surfaces clean. Learn more tips here:

Flu Vaccination Resources

1. Vaccination Overview
Complete Guide to the 2019-2020 Influenza Vaccine

The Flu Vaccine and Where to Get It

Senior Flu Shot Finder

2. Managing Vaccine Resistant Attitudes and Beliefs
How to Talk to Patients Who Object to the Flu Vaccine

Flu Shots and Persuasion

Flu Prevention Hygiene Resources

1. Hand Hygiene
Guideline for Hand Hygiene in Health-Care Settings

Hand Hygiene: Why, How & When?

Proper Hand Hygiene for Infection Prevention

2. Coughing Hygiene
Respiratory Hygiene/Cough Etiquette in Healthcare Settings

Transmission-Based Precautions | Droplet Precautions

Does Wearing a Surgical Mask Prevent the Flu?

Flu mask: Should I wear one?

3. Home Hygiene: Effective Disinfecting
How to Disinfect Your House After the Flu

Five Sneaky Places Germs May be Hiding in Your Home — and How to Clean Them

10 Things to Clean After the Flu

Cleaning after the flu: how to clean after the flu

Institutional Prevention Resources

Prevention Strategies for Seasonal Influenza in Healthcare Settings

Guideline on the prevention and control of seasonal influenza in healthcare setting

Action Steps for Teachers to Prevent the Spread of Flu

Guidance for School Administrators to Help Reduce the Spread of Seasonal Influenza in K-12 Schools

How To Clean and Disinfect Schools To Help Slow the Spread of Flu

Keep Flu Out of School: A Resource Toolkit

If you are interested in additional information about common illnesses as we age, Medicare, Social Security, financial planning, where to retire and more, use the tabs or pull-down menu at the top of the page to find links to hundreds of additional helpful articles.
Disclosure: This blog may contain affiliate links. If you decide to make a purchase from an Amazon ad, I'll make a small commission at no extra cost to you.

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Flu Information Graphics: Courtesy of the CDC as Images to Share

All of the links in this article were provided by Public Health Corps.  None of them are paid links.  This is a public service post.

Disclosure: Some articles on this blog may contain affiliate links. If you decide to make a purchase, I'll make a small commission at no extra cost to you.

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Leave Foot Pain Behind - Tips for Happy Feet as We Age!

Like many people in their 60s and 70s, I suffered from foot pain a few years ago. My doctor diagnosed me with Plantar Fasciitis and sent me to an orthopedic doctor who fit me for a shoe insert.  When the custom inserts left me limping around, I went to a shoe store which promoted their own shoe inserts.  Even after going through breaking-in periods and trying my best to make the inserts work, I was still in terrible pain.  I felt as if I was walking gingerly and painfully everywhere I went.
After another consultation with my doctor, she suggested that most foot problems were due to poor shoe choices.  I realized that prior to my diagnosis with Plantar Fasciitis, I had been wearing a variety of slip-on shoes with little or no arch support.  I began a quest to find shoes which gave me better support and, within a few months of buying a selection of supportive, comfortable shoes with wider bases, lower heels, and better arch support, my foot pain gradually disappeared. (Ad)  

Today, I belong to a group which walks at least 100 miles a month, and my Plantar Fasciitis seems to have faded into the distant past.  I now understand how important it is to wear quality shoes which are designed to cushion, support and protect my feet.
In addition to conditions like Plantar Fasciitis, some of my friends have complained about a variety of different foot problems including ingrown toenails, bunions, blisters and swollen feet.  Several of them have had foot surgery, with varying degrees of success.  Personally, I wish all of us had been choosing better shoes when we were young so we were not experiencing sore feet, painful inserts, and surgeries as retirees.
Consequently, when I was approached by the Pandere Shoe Company to include a guest post on my blog about their attractive, sporty orthopedic shoes, I thought the information they are providing would be beneficial to those readers who may need to take a fresh look at how they are treating their feet.  I am not connected with the company and I do not receive any commissions or other benefit from the purchase of their shoes.  I just hope that readers will take a hard look at the shoes in their own closets and decide whether they need to make some changes in order to have happier feet! 

Check out the helpful information they have provided about common foot problems and what to look for in a shoe, in the post below.

How to Keep Retired Feet Happy

by Pandere Shoes
Now that you have finally reached the long-awaited milestone of retirement, nothing stands between you and everything you never had enough free time for – travel, golf, gardening, maybe even ballroom dancing.
Nothing, that is, except your tired, aching feet.
Foot problems are a common complaint among retirees. Like every other part of the body, our feet suffer from the effects of aging too:
·        Weakened tendons and ligaments cause the arch to drop, making feet wider and flatter.
·        Medical conditions like diabetes and arthritis, or poor circulation, can cause feet to swell, making it difficult to find supportive, comfortable shoes.
·        Corns, calluses, hammertoes, heel spurs, and bunions caused by years of squeezing feet into ill-fitting shoes make getting through the day difficult.
Wearing ill-fitting or overly tight shoes is all too common among retirees. Hot spots, blisters, abrasions, or ingrown toenails can occur where the shoe rubs against the skin or pinches the toes or heel. Many find themselves trying to remedy the situation by buying shoes a size or two too big. But that can cause a cascade of other problems, including balance problems as your feet slide around the large shoe.
The result? Pain and discomfort, which make participating in even the simplest activities unpleasant.
The best thing you can do to keep your feet happy is to pay attention to the aches and pains and give your feet the care they need. Regular visits with your healthcare provider, especially if you’ve been diagnosed with a medical condition that makes you more prone to foot issues, can help identify potential problems early. Exercises that stretch your feet and leg muscles are excellent for overall foot health.
Investing in comfortable, supportive shoes specifically designed to accommodate your feet can also be an important step in the battle to keep aching feet happy. 
Key features to look for when choosing shoes to accommodate aging feet include:
·        Adjustability and expandability
·        Removable insoles
·        Support
·        Non-slip bottoms
·        High-quality, durable materials
A host of orthopedic shoes on the market offer many of these features, but a new shoe company launched in 2018 has revolutionized the comfort shoe for retirees.
Pandere, a woman-owned shoe company based in Alaska, has developed the world’s first stylish, expandable shoe carefully engineered to accommodate a wide range of foot issues. Each of Pandere’s styles integrate a revolutionary expansion system, including adjustable toggles and Velcro closures, which allow the shoe to expand up to three width sizes. Available in both men’s and women’s styles, Pandere’s shoes work hard to keep you safe and keep your feet happy with:
·        A patented expansion system that expands with your foot throughout the day
·        No-tie toggle system for adjustability in key areas
·        A contoured, removable footbed that offers comfort, arch support and heel cushion
·        A wider shoe base for a roomier fit that won’t pinch, squeeze or rub
·        Anti-slip, recycled natural rubber latex bottoms
·        Supportive durable nubuk leather and neoprene
·        High-quality European craftsmanship
A few of the conditions Pandere shoes are specifically designed for include:
Foot Swelling

If you have a medical condition which makes your feet swell, such as lymphedema or diabetes, or if your feet have grown flatter and wider with age, try the Saturday shoe. Built on a wider last and bottom for an even roomier toe box and midfoot, the Saturday shoe expands to an EEE width size for women and EE for men. Available in sizes 4-13 for men or 6-15 for women. For ankle swelling, try the Rodeo shoe - available in women’s sizes 6-12, with expansion from a B up to an E width. 

(Disclosure: Some of the articles in this blog may contain Amazon affiliate links. If you decide to make a purchase, I'll make a small commission at no extra cost to you. However, the author does NOT receive a commission from the Pandere Shoe Company.)


Pandere worked intensively with customers to design a shoe specifically for those suffering from bunions. The Rodeo shoe offers soft, supportive neoprene panels at the big toe joint that expand and provide extra wiggle room for those with bunions. Available in women’s sizes 6-12, the Rodeo expands from a B up to an E width. 
Extra Wide Feet

All of Pandere’s styles expand up to three width sizes and are perfect for anyone with wide feet. Consult the Pandere sizing chart or try the Fit Finder to determine which style is right for you. While the Saturday is the widest shoe Pandere offers, expanding up to an EEE width size for women and EE for men, all of Pandere’s styles cater to wide feet.
If your feet are slowing you down, there is hope! To learn more about Pandere Shoes, visit them online or reach out to them anytime at
(The links in the above four paragraphs are ads for the Pandere Shoe Company).

If you are interested in learning more about solutions to common medical issues as we age, Medicare, Social Security, where to retire, financial planning and more, use the tabs or pull down menu at the top of the page to find links to hundreds of additional helpful articles.
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Photo credit:  Pandere Shoes