Health briefs: Volunteers are needed for hospice

The Northwest Colorado Visiting Nurse Association is seeking volunteers for their Hospice program. Direct service volunteers may provide transportation, run errands, provide respite to relieve the primary caregiver, do household chores, read to the patient or sit and listen to them. Volunteers also assist in bereavement, community outreach and fund development. Volunteers who work with patients must complete a 20-hour training program and make a commitment to be available for at least one year.

Those who are interested should contact Sandy Beran at 970-871-7682 in Craig or Katy Thiel in Steamboat at 970-871-7628.

Free cessation options for smokeless tobacco

The Northwest Colorado Visiting Nurse Association reminds residents that smokeless tobacco (chew, snuff or dissolvable products) can lead to tooth decay, gum problems and mouth sores, according to a news release. Chemicals in smokeless tobacco products also are linked to cancers of the esophagus, mouth and pancreas. Youth are particularly vulnerable to tobacco industry tactics making smokeless tobacco products cheap and enticing. Support can improve a person’s chance of kicking nicotine addiction and quitting smokeless tobacco for good, the press release said. The Colorado QuitLine offers free personalized cessation phone support, call 1-800-QUIT-NOW. The Northwest Colorado Visiting Nurse Association offers counseling with a tobacco cessation specialist in Steamboat Springs or Craig. There is no fee for the service. To be connected with a Cessation Counselor in Steamboat Springs or Craig, call 970-871-7634.

Wellness Wednesday program aids seniors

Wellness Wednesday, a program of the Northwest Colorado Visiting Nurse Association, is a day of activities for older adults every Wednesday at Journey at First Baptist, 1150 W. Ninth St. The day begins with a memoir writing class at 8:15 a.m. offered by Colorado Northwestern Community College. Two exercise classes, beginning and advanced Movement & Exercise, are at 10:30 a.m. Lunch is at 11:30 a.m., and a guest presentation follows at noon. Pinochle begins at 1 p.m. Senior Wellness checks and foot care with nurses also are available. Fees and/or appointments may be required for some activities. All are welcome. For more information, call 970-871-7676.

Medical foot care clinics available for older adults

The Northwest Colorado Visiting Nurse Association provides medical foot care clinics for older adults from 8 a.m. to noon every Wednesday at The Journey, 1150 W. Ninth St., and from 9 to 11 a.m. the first three Thursdays of each month at Sunset Meadows I, 633 Ledford St. Clinics include consultation, foot inspections and toenail trim. The copay is $20. Call 970-875-1884 to make an appointment.

VNA: Check your child’s vaccination records

Several adolescent vaccines are given in a series, which if not finished leaves your child incompletely protected. Protection provided by some childhood vaccines, such as pertussis (whooping cough), begins to wear off by adolescence. Three vaccines are recommended at age 11 to 12 years. If your teen missed these shots, Visiting Nurse Association officials advise they should “catch up.” The shots can be given at any medical office visit, camp or sports physical:

■ Tdap vaccine is a booster against tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis. Pertussis, or whooping cough, can keep kids out of school and activities for weeks. It also can be spread to babies, which can be very dangerous. In Colorado, the Tdap vaccine is required for entry into sixth grade.

■ Meningococcal vaccine protects against meningococcal disease. Meningococcal disease is caused by bacteria and is a leading cause of bacterial meningitis (a serious infection around the brain and spinal cord) and its complications. A booster dose is recommended at age 16.

■ HPV vaccine protects girls and women against the types of HPV that most commonly cause cervical cancer. HPV vaccine also can protect boys against genital warts and other cancers. Immunization against HPV is a series of three shots over six months.

Every year, children and adolescents should receive an influenza (flu) vaccine, too, because even healthy kids get the flu, which can be serious.

For families with health insurance, all or most of the cost of vaccines is covered. For families without insurance, children 18 and younger are eligible to get vaccines at low or no cost through the Vaccines for Children program (VFC). You can find out more about the VFC program or about these vaccines by contacting your health care provider, the Northwest Colorado Visiting Nurse Association at 970-824-8233, or by contacting the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention at www.cdc.gov/vaccines/teens or 1-800-CDC-INFO.

Pet vendors will be at event on Saturday

Pet Health Fair to visit Murdoch’s Ranch and Home Supply is hosting a Pet Health Fair from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday. A variety of pet vendors are partnering to offer the community event. The health fair was designed for pets and their owners who have been postponing important maintenance steps for their pet’s optimal health. The fair offers an opportunity to help pet owners catch up on dog and cat vaccinations at a 10 percent deduction in cost by Bear Creek Animal Hospital.

Dog licenses also will be available for those that aren’t currently licensed. Dog owners must have proof of a current rabies vaccination in order to obtain a license. D’Tail will be on site to offer nail clips, and Laura Tyler, of Total Teamwork Training, and Glenna Grandbouche, of Canines Unlimited, will provide training tips and address hard-to-break habits.

Additionally, Murdoch’s will host a free dog wash and offer a variety of door prizes. After pets are freshened up, owners can get their photos taken with their dogs and cats. The Humane Society of Moffat County will have pets on-site for adoption.

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