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Health Q&A

Posted November 07, 2012 in Advice Column, Greene County

Q: When do I need to sign up for Medicare Part D?

A: For most people age 65 and older, the time is now. Enrollment started Oct. 15 and will continue through Dec. 7, 2012, for the 2013 calendar year. If you turn 65 after Jan. 1, 2013, you may apply at that time.

Some individuals with other insurance coverage such as Medicaid are allowed to change plan decisions more than once a year.

 • How do I know which plan to choose? One way is to have access to the Internet and go to where you can find the various plans available in Iowa. Another way is to visit your local insurance agent who is licensed for health insurance.

    • What do I need to look for? You need a plan that covers your medication, especially if you are taking any brand-name medicines. Most generic drugs are covered by all plans.

You also need to make sure that the plan you choose allows you to use the pharmacy of your choice. Some plans almost force you to use a mail order pharmacy which is inconvenient for many patients. Even more plans are beginning to use a “preferred pharmacy” network which can severely limit your pharmacy choices. The price may be a little lower, but when you factor in the cost of fuel and time, they are not necessarily a bargain.

Make sure that the plan you choose allows you to use the pharmacy you are near and comfortable with.

Information provided by Medicap Pharmacy, 400 N. Elm St., Jefferson, 515-386-2164.

Q: What is the TruMatch® Personalized Solutions?

A: The recent introduction of TruMatch® Personalized Solutions is a unique approach to knee replacement surgery. According to DePuy Orthopaedics Inc., the TruMatch® Personalized Solution “uses a three-dimensional computerized scan of your leg to create customized surgical guides that are designed to deliver a personalized solution based on your unique anatomy.”

In other words, your knee replacement is based on “guides” built specifically for your knee. DePuy Orthopaedics Inc. developed TruMatch® “to help your surgeon achieve consistency in the placement and position of your knee replacement.”

The process is actually quite simple. When you and your orthopedic surgeon determine that knee replacement is necessary, a four step process begins with a CT scan. This image is then sent to DePuy Orthopaedics and a special 3-D model of your knee is created. Your knee structure is reviewed and then personalized “guides” are created unique to your knee. The guides are used during surgery to “help position and place your new knee implant.” When your knee is set, the guides are removed prior to your new knee being implanted.

Just a slight difference in “alignment” with an implant can increase the overall success and longevity of a knee replacement. TruMatch®  provides “precise positioning and placement.”

The most important outcome for the patient taking advantage of the TruMatch® Personalized Solution is smoother and quicker rehabilitation as well as lower risk of both instability and repeated surgery. Now that’s worth asking your orthopedic surgeon about.

Information provided by West Central Orthopedics, a clinic of Greene County Medical Center, Jefferson, 515-386-2488.

Q: How can I have a happy, healthy holiday season?

A: Don’t lose sleep. If you pull an all-nighter or miss a few hours each night over a week, your body releases hormones that prompt eating and weight gain.
 • Relax. You won’t gain 10 pounds. The average person gains only about a pound between Thanksgiving and New Year. That’s no excuse to eat with abandon, though. If you lose control with a dish of truffles, don’t think “I’ve blown it, might as well move on to the eggnog.” Just forgive yourself for the truffles.
    • Don’t skip meals. Waiting until you’re starving results in overeating. Eat normally during the day, and be smart at the buffet. Don’t bother with things you don’t absolutely love.
    • Don’t assume that this is the most depressing time of the year. Depression actually isn’t more common during the holidays. In fact, suicide rates in the United States are lowest in December. That doesn’t mean that you’re immune to the holiday blues. Make plans with friends if your family is far away or opt out of events if your schedule is overwhelming.
    • Consider a supplement. Research shows that omega-3 fatty acids may relieve depression, and vitamin D may improve mood. Add a daily supplement of omega-3 or vitamin D to your diet.
    • Drink water. Don’t drink excess calories. One cup (8 oz.) of eggnog has a whopping 225 calories. Water is calorie free, and it has no caffeine, which can cause you to lose sleep and overeat.

Information provided by Jefferson Family Chiropractic, 216 N. Wilson Ave., 515-386-3747.

Q: What is occupational therapy?

A: Occupational therapy can be defined in many different ways. The scope of occupational therapy is diverse and is sometimes easier to break down into parts to understand the whole concept.

The World Federation of Occupational Therapists defines it as a client-centered health profession concerned with promoting health and wel lbeing through occupation. The primary goal of occupational therapy is to enable people to participate in the activities of everyday life. Occupational therapists achieve this outcome by working with people and communities to enhance their ability to engage in the occupations they want to, need to or are expected to do, or by modifying the occupation or the environment to better support their occupational engagement.

They apply their broad knowledge of medical diagnosis, psychosocial and occupational sciences to work collaboratively with people, individually or in groups or communities. Occupational therapists work with a person who may have impairment of body structure or function owing to a health condition. Many times the occupational therapist, physical therapist and speech therapist will work together as a team to apply specific therapy to meet the needs of the client.

Occupational therapy is practiced in a wide variety of settings. These include a person’s home environment, schools, workplaces, health centers, hospitals and skilled nursing facilities. The outcomes are client-driven, focused on the client’s potential function, but the majority of the occupational therapist’s work in the school system and skilled nursing home settings.

Information provided by Regency Park Nursing and Rehab Center, 100 Ram Drive, Jefferson, 515-386-4107.

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