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As 10 Million Baby Boomers Develop Alzheimer’s,
Early Detection of the Disease Becomes Critical to Future Planning

(Harlan, IA) – Current data suggests that because of the increasing number of people age 65 and older in the United States, the annual number of new cases of Alzheimer’s and other dementias is projected to double by the year 2050. The Alzheimer’s Association Know the 10 Signs: Early Detection Matters workshops provide attendees with information about the difference between normal aging and Alzheimer’s disease, the benefits of early detection, as well as tips for attendees who may be concerned about themselves or a loved one.

“Here in Iowa, we have the third highest Alzheimer’s death rate in America,” said Marsha Williams, Program and Event Coordinator at the Alzheimer’s Association Greater Iowa Chapter. “Those that attend these workshops learn that if they receive a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s or another dementia, there are things families can do together to plan for the future and work towards receiving the best help and care possible.”


The Alzheimer’s Association
The Alzheimer’s Association is the leading voluntary health organization in Alzheimer care, support and research. Our mission is to eliminate Alzheimer’s disease through the advancement of research; to provide and enhance care and support for all affected; and to reduce the risk of dementia through the promotion of brain health. Our vision is a world without Alzheimer’s. For more information, visit or call 800.272.3900.

Governor Terry Branstad is declaring January as “Radon Action Month” in Iowa

Radon III images (3)The state of Iowa is believed to have the largest percentage of homes in the U.S. with radon levels above “acceptable” range. That’s why experts are encouraging Iowans to test their homes.
Radon test kits are inexpensive and available at the Shelby County Environmental Health Office. The cost is $8.00. Please contact Terri Daringer, Director of Environmental Health to purchase a radon test kit at 712-755-2609.

Update Your Emergency Preparedness Plan

New ImageAs you make your New Year’s resolutions, now is the perfect time to also think about updating your preparedness plans.

  • If you do not have an emergency plan, develop one. If you do, review and update it. Is all of your emergency contacts information current? Do your evacuation routes still work?
  • Think about your go-kit. Do you need to replace old batteries? Have the kids outgrown clothes that you had packed in it? Does your flashlight work?
  • Is there anyone new with whom you need to share your plans? Do you have a new neighbor, or babysitter?
  • Practice your plan. This will help you to remember the plan, as well as find areas for improvement.
  • Remember to stay informed. Be aware of approaching weather and pay attention to warnings that are issued. Register for Alert Iowa at to receive notifications.
  • Remember your neighbors. Will they need help evacuating or preparing for inclement weather?
  • Resolve to volunteer. Register at I-SERV at to join Iowa’s list of volunteers willing to pitch in when needed.

Here are some helpful resources: and

Holiday Safety Tips for Families

The holidays are an exciting time of year for kids, and to help ensure children have a safe holiday season, here are some tips from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) brought to you by Shelby County Public Health and Learning for Life.

  1. Take care of yourself both mentally and physically. Children and adolescents are affected by the emotional well-being of their parent or caregivers. Coping with stress successfully can help children learn how to handle stress better, too.
  2. Make a plan to focus on one thing at a time. Try a few ideas from “mindfulness” as a strategy to balance the hustle and bustle of things like shopping, cooking, and family get-togethers during the holiday season.
  3. Remember that many children and adults experience a sense of loss, sadness or isolation during the holidays. It is important to be sensitive to these feelings and ask for help for you, your children, family members or friends if needed.
  4. Try to keep household routines the same. Stick to your child’s usual sleep and mealtime schedules when you can, which may reduce stress and help your family enjoy the holidays.
  5. Most important of all, enjoy the holidays for what they are — time to enjoy with your family. So, be a family, do things together like sledding or playing board games, and spend time visiting with relatives, neighbors, and friends.

The Learning for Life program offers a home visitation program for families with children from prenatal through age 5. The curriculum used is the Parents as Teachers model, which helps parents, prepare their children for learning and school entry. Major funding for this program is provided by Harrison/Monona/Shelby Early Childhood Iowa.

Live Healthy Iowa – 10 Week Wellness Challenge

The New Year is just around the corner, which means we are gearing up for the 2016 – 10 Week Wellness Challenge!  The Challenge will take place January 25 – April 1. Over the course of 10 weeks, teams (2-10 people) track activity minutes and/or weight loss through the LHI website. This simple and affordable challenge provides Iowans an opportunity to improve their health while engaging in a fun, friendly competition. Registration opens December 15.
*Please Note: There are two codes to register, one for Shelby County residents, and the other for Myrtue Medical & PFWC employees. Please be sure use the correct code when registering.  This helps us track how many are signed up as a whole for Shelby county and for our staff at MMC. Let’s get together with your co-workers and create a team. You can add your spouse and or children to your team.
Shelby County Residents:
Please register under the Shelby County Group ID – LHIShelbyco.
Myrtue Medical Center/PFWC Employees:
Please register under Group ID – LHIPFW (Live Healthy Iowa Petersen Family Wellness).

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