MED I CAREBLUEPR INT.COM Health Matters
WE’RE ALL AFFECTED BY CANCER
And We Can Support You Through It
Things get a little hairy each November — and I’m not just talking about Open Enrollment. (Have you contacted us yet? Please do so by Friday, Dec. 4!) No, what I’m talking about is far more exciting and enticing. Each November, men and women forego shaving in an effort to raise awareness about prostate cancer and men’s health. No Shave November — or Movember, as one group calls it — asks participants to grow out their mustaches, beards, and leg and armpit hair to strike up conversations about cancer screenings and care. I can’t say I’ve ever participated in this unique awareness campaign, but I do have a special place in my heart for cancer awareness and fundraising. About 17 years ago, a few high school buddies of mine were diagnosed with cancer. This was right around our 10-year high school reunion, so we were all very invested in their health and seeing them through their tremendous fight. A few of us came up with a great idea to honor their battle and raise some money in return. We decided to host a golf tournament and donate the funds we raised during the event to the American Cancer Society. That year, we had about 40 players sign up, and we raised a whopping few hundred dollars for the American Cancer Society. Seventeen years later, things have grown quite a bit.
I’ve since completely taken over organizing the event. We now have more than 100 players and generate anywhere from $4,000–$5,000 for the American Cancer Society. It’s a great feeling to knowwe are giving back in such a big way to those who need it most. Plus, we all know that each May, we have an opportunity to meet up with old friends, play some golf, and feel good doing it, too. (Obviously, this May we couldn’t do this, but we’re already looking forward to year 18!) Cancer affects the work I do each day, too. Tim and I have a number of clients who have survived it, are battling it, or who want to ensure someone they love will be protected during their fight against it. Part of our job is to help our clients navigate the complexities of Medicare — and there are quite a few — but another component is just listening. Sometimes the decisions our clients have to make in regards to their health can be daunting or scary. If we can offer them some peace or relief just in a conversation, then that’s what we do. It’s a great feeling to knowwe can help people through this process and the complications of Medicare each day while also lending an ear. And our referrals let us knowwe are doing a good job! Those are the best compliments we can receive from any of you. Thank you for trusting us to help you through some of life’s biggest blows and for believing our work could help others, too.
Stay safe this holiday season and good luck to all of you attempting No Shave November!
Looking for a New Doc?
Try Care Compare by Medicare!
Technology has made it easier than ever to find the services we’re looking for. We’re all just one Google search away from our community’s best Mexican food or a carpet cleaning specialist with top-notch reviews. But what if there were a tool that was catered to your specific needs? As a Medicare beneficiary, your medical needs and desires can be vastly different than those of the general public, and filtering through online search results that don’t completely align with your goals does little to solve an urgent need you may have.
What Our Clients Think!
“You helped me through the Medicare process. I was completely lost with all of the offers.”
Enter Care Compare From Medicare
Think of this platform as your go-to “Google” right on Medicare’s website. Designed for patients like you, Care Compare allows Medicare recipients and their families to search for physicians of all specialties, along with specific care platforms, like nursing homes, hospice, or home health services. Users can also search for particular treatments, including dialysis and physical therapy. Once you enter your zip code and the service you’re looking for, you’ll be provided with a list of potential options. Each result has a quality rating and a patient survey rating. The quality rating is determined by how the agency or specialist performs and patient satisfaction. You can sort the results you’re given by either score, which allows you to rank each agency by what matters most to you. To learn more about a result, simply click on it. You’ll be taken to another page, where you can learn more about the agency or physician. This includes significant details about services, links to read reviews, and contact information. You can also “bookmark” a result to compile a list of your top choices. Care Compare works like Google, but it’s designed to only show Medicare-specific providers and agencies. You can be certain the results are experts in older adult health and care. No longer do you have to worry that your needs will not be met; Care Compare helps you find someone who will ensure it happens.
–Stanley S., customer since 2019
“It was painless, and Jason was very informative and answered all of my questions without hesitation. He is great to work with..”
–Wanda F., customer since 2016
“We are always treated as if we were family, and you are always willing to give honest advice and service.”
–Cleveland G., customer since 2017
Learn more about Care Compare at Medicare.gov/Care-Compare.
November is Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month. The goal of this designation is to educate the public about this debilitating condition and encourage prevention and research. A cure, treatment, and total prevention are still unknown, but with awareness and fundraising, we’re getting closer and closer to an answer each day. UNDERSTANDING ALZHEIMER’S 3 Ways to Lower Your Risk Researchers are currently examining biotechnology possibilities for vaccines to prevent Alzheimer’s or drug treatments to severely reduce symptoms. While various studies have provided important clues to what causes dementia, what we do know is that environment, genetics, and lifestyle all play a role in the development of Alzheimer’s. While you cannot prevent Alzheimer’s, you can lower your risk. Here are three steps you can take today. Adopt a Healthy Lifestyle Your heart may benefit from a diet that’s rich in good fats, leafy greens, and lean proteins, but your brain loves it, too. A heart-healthy lifestyle can increase the flow of oxygen to your brain, which can keep it functioning at a high level. Pair a good diet with regular exercise to boost these brain benefits. Exercise is another way your brain can receive oxygen, and it stimulates connections and improves your mood.
Exercise Your Brain Your brain can’t go for a walk, but it can be exercised. Social groups or hobbies are a great way for your brain to pump some serious iron. Researchers believe social interaction and actively doing something — like painting, woodworking, or putting a puzzle together — creates new neural pathways. This keeps your brain active. As an added bonus, socializing is vital for life. It challenges you, boosts your mood, and, overall, might make you healthier. Take Precautions You wouldn’t drive your car without wearing a seatbelt, so don’t ride your bike without wearing a helmet! Protect your head at all costs. Wear protective gear while biking or climbing, and wear a hard hat when doing at-home construction projects. Your skull is the only real protection your brain has, and unlike a broken arm or a scrape, time doesn’t heal this wound. A brain injury is often life-altering or deadly. If you have questions about how your Medicare plan covers you in the event you develop Alzheimer’s or dementia, please give us a call today. You can also learn more about Alzheimer’s at Alz.org.
CINNAMON-SPICED CANDIED SWEET POTATOES
4 lbs orange-fleshed sweet potatoes, peeled and cut crosswise into 2-inch pieces, then cut lengthwise into 1-inch wedges
1 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 tbsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/4 cup unsalted butter, cubed
4 (2-inch) cinnamon sticks
1. Preheat oven to 350 F. 2. Place sweet potato wedges in a 4-quart baking dish. 3. Sprinkle sugar, salt, and cloves over sweet potatoes. 4. Dot with butter and place cinnamon sticks around sweet potatoes.
5. Bake, turning every 15 minutes, until sweet potatoes are tender and the liquid is syrupy, about 1 hour and 15 minutes. 6. Remove from the oven and let stand for 10 minutes. 7. Discard cinnamon sticks and serve.
CRANBERRY COBBLER ELECTION FOOTBALL NOVEL SAGITTARIUS
THANKSGIVING TOPAZ TURKEY VETERANS
Inspired by FoodAndWine.com
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Inside This Issue
JASON AND HIS FRIENDS RAISE MONEY FOR THE AMERICAN CANCER SOCIETY
YOUR GUIDE TO CARE COMPARE BYMEDICARE
FROM OUR CLIENTS
3 STEPS TO LOWERING YOUR ALZHEIMER’S RISK
CINNAMON-SPICED CANDIED SWEET POTATOES
HOWATHANKSGIVING DINNER MIX-UP LED TO THE TV DINNER
Would you believe that Thanksgiving dinner — a meal dedicated to home cooking, family time, and, well, being thankful — was directly responsible for the invention of the TV dinner, the ultimate manifestation of the solitary, processed meal? If you are a little suspicious of that fact, you’re not alone. But, the connection is real. Those little frozen meals on trays were the result of a Turkey Day mix-up of epic proportions. The year was 1953. That fall, the frozen food company C.A. Swanson & Sons drastically overestimated how many Americans would want a turkey as the centerpiece of their Thanksgiving spread, leaving them with about 260 tons of extra turkey packed into 10 refrigerated railroad cars. They needed a way to sell this surplus quickly because they had to keep running the train cars back and forth between the East Coast and the Midwest to generate the electricity needed to keep the turkey from spoiling. The company sent out a bulletin asking if any of their employees had a solution to the problem. Swanson salesman Gerry Thomas had a winning idea. He
suggested they package up the remaining turkey with a few sides as frozen dinners that would be ready to eat after being thawed. The twist? They would be served in compartmentalized aluminum trays, much like airplane meals, which were the inspiration for Thomas’ idea. Additionally, they would be marketed as “TV dinners,” with their packaging designed to look like a television set. By 1954, roughly half of American households had TVs. Over the next 10 years, that figure jumped to 92%. As the TV rose in prominence in American living rooms, the TV dinner’s popularity increased exponentially. Swanson sold nearly 10 million of them during the first year of production. By 1959, Americans spent half a billion dollars gobbling up TV dinners. Several other phenomena have been linked to the advent of the TV dinner, such as the erosion of the traditional family dinner and a preference for TV entertainment over family conversation during mealtime. It’s hard to believe it all happened because of one Thanksgiving Day with too much turkey!
A MEAL FOR THE CHANGING AMERICAN HOME
How a Thanksgiving Dinner Mix-Up Led to the TV Dinner
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