Briefs: Health briefs June 16, 2009

Open house mixes vision loss, cooking

• Living with vision loss doesn’t mean you can’t cook. A Low Vision Open House from 9–11:30 a.m. July 8 at the Retina Center, 2478 Patterson Road, No. 7, aims to teach participants how to navigate the kitchen and learn to cook favorite foods again.
The open house also will include demonstrations of magnifiers, new technology and information.
For information, call vision rehabilitation specialist Carol Inglis at 248-7107.

Seniors beware of Medicare scam

• Senior citizens should be on the lookout for a recent scam involving Medicare insurance, according to the government’s Department of Regulatory Agencies.
The details of the scam include a representative calling seniors, claiming to be with a faux “Medicare Program Unit” or another official-sounding health foundation. Seniors are told they need a new Medicare card because their current one has expired. However, Medicare cards do not expire.
The caller then will attempt to persuade a senior to read a bank account number over the phone. As always, seniors are encouraged never to give personal information out over the phone, the department says.
For information or to report fraud or abuse, call the Medicare Fraud Program at 800-503-5190.

Free seminars planned on sleep apnea

• Getting enough sleep each day is critical to normal functioning, according to Preferred Homecare of Grand Junction.
Preferred Homecare offers free monthly seminars on sleep apnea from 5:30–6:30 p.m. on the third Monday of each month. For information, call the company at 257-1565.

Nutrition program plans expansion

• Colorado’s Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) is expanding food packages to include more healthful foods, according to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.
WIC packages include cereal, milk, eggs, cheese, juice, dried beans, peanut butter and infant formula.
Packages will be expanded to include fresh and frozen vegetables, more whole grain choices, dairy alternatives including tofu and soy drinks, canned beans, more varieties of canned fish, fresh bananas and jarred baby foods for infants.
In addition, women who are breast-feeding and their infants older than 6 months can receive enhanced food packages.
WIC provides education, breast-feeding support and health care referrals. Women who want to know if they qualify for WIC should call 303-692-2400 or online at

Retreats for cancer survivors, caregivers

• Local cancer survivors and their caregivers can take advantage of reasonably priced retreats this summer.
A storytelling retreat is slated for June 27 in Kannah Creek with activities led by folklorist Ronna Lee Sharpe. A photography retreat is July 26.
Sixteen cancer survivors and their caregivers can enjoy a canyon setting from a Kannah Creek home, located 30 minutes from Grand Junction. Registration fees of $10 include food and all supplies.
Two other retreats set for August and September include getaways for men only or women only.
Fourteen cancer survivors can attend the La Brita Rita retreats located in Unaweep Canyon. The overnight excursions include cabin and camper facilities, food and workshop supplies for $25.
The women-only retreat, Aug. 28–29, will have the focus of “Sexuality, Intimacy and Self-mage.” The men-only fly-fishing retreat will be Sept. 25–26.
For information, call Debra Hesse at 244-2351.

Health department warns of hot cars

• Children left unattended in vehicles in the summer months are at a high risk for heat stroke or death, according to the Mesa County Health Department.
Even with cracked windows, vehicles quickly can heat up to dangerous temperatures. An outside temperature of 93 degrees can reach 125 degrees in 20 minutes and increase to 140 degrees in 40 minutes.
The health department encourages parents to never leave children unattended in a vehicle even with the windows down, always lock car doors and keep car keys out of reach, watch children closely around vehicles; and make sure car seats and buckles aren’t hot when restraining children to avoid burns.


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