April 2018
In this issue

Analyses of 134 brands of protein powder found varying amounts of heavy metals, PBA, and other contaminants. (See also the individual product ratings.)
The State of California has lots of information on long-term care insurance. This article also has helpful information.
If you would like help with reducing your alcohol consumption, information about the effectiveness of various treatment options may be helpful.
If your child is college-bound, should you enroll him or her in the university health insurance program?
For multiple reasons, experts are criticizing a highly visible, corporate-sponsored media campaign suggesting annual Pap smears. Most women should be screened for cervical cancer less often.

A Technical Grab Bag
The federal Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) reviews published research to compare treatment options for health conditions. We often feature their studies in PlaneTalk, providing two links for each condition, one for consumers and one for health care professionals.

Although the following topics are of interest to many people, AHRQ only created reports for clinicians, not for lay persons. Here are links to the moderately technical "key messages" and abstracts (brief summaries). In-depth coverage for professionals continues in the related evidence summary, executive summary, or full report.
Canker Sores & Cold Sores
Can you tell the difference between a canker sore and a cold sore (fever blister)? This overview and treatment guide may help if you are prone to canker sore outbreaks. Self-care, medical treatment, and other information is also available if you get cold sores.
Practical Tips for Care at Home
The Home Alone Alliance has created 16 videos and 11 written guides to help individuals and caregivers with challenges people often deal with at home. The topic areas are wounds (prevention and care), medications (organizing and administering), and mobility (getting up after a fall and using devices such as canes, walkers, and wheelchairs). Scroll to the middle of this page to access these excellent resources. Some videos are available in both English and Spanish. 

Active Shooter Situations
As schools address the possibility of someday having a gunman on campus, administrators, teachers, and parents may want to consider the impact of active shooter drills on kids' mental health.

Although it is very unlikely to happen to you, you may have wondered how you should respond in an active shooter situation. Here is what experts recommend.
Elder Self-Neglect
It may surprise you to know that self-neglect is the type of elder abuse most often substantiated by investigators. (See page 18 of this report.) The National Adult Protective Services Association (NAPSA) defines self-neglect as "self-care and/or living conditions that are potentially hazardous to the health, safety or well-being of adults." Examples of self-neglect include living in filth or extreme clutter, failing to eat or obtain needed medical care, and having very poor personal hygiene. 
If you know a senior who may be inadequately caring for himself or herself, or experiencing neglect or abuse by someone else, use NAPSA's locator to learn where to make a report. Californians in Santa Clara County may do so here.
For years, Medicare identity cards have been printed with cardholders' social security numbers, creating a potential for identity theft. This month, Medicare will begin shipping cards with different identity numbers. Californians will be among the first recipients; residents of some states will receive them later in the year. Unscrupulous people have already seized upon the change as an opportunity for identity theft. Be alert for phone or email scams asking for your old Medicare ID number.
Here are tips for appealing when Medicare refuses to cover a prescription drug.
If a Medicare-covered patient is scheduled for discharge from a hospital but the patient, or his/her caregiver, feels the discharge is too early to be safe, a "fast appeal" can be called into a Medicare Quality Organization.

All events are open to the public. Some require pre-registration.
.....* Fee for participation
.....^ Scroll down the linked page

Mountain View - 2-session class with multiple start dates
Mountain View - Multiple dates

Nutrition, exercise, & mind-body programs for people with cancer
San Jose - many dates  
Los Gatos - Thursdays
Los Gatos - Thursdays
Mountain View - Wed., 4/4
Los Altos - Thurs., 4/5
Sunnyvale - Thurs., 4/5
Saratoga - Fri., 4/6
San Jose - Sat., 4/7
San Jose - Tues., 4/10
Palo Alto - Tues., 4/10
Mountain View - Tues., 4/10
San Jose - Wed., 4/11
Los Altos - Wed., 4/18
Joint pain
Mountain View - Thurs., 4/19
Los Gatos - Tues., 4/22
San Jose - Tues., 4/24
Palo Alto - Tues., 4/24
Los Gatos - Wed., 4/25
San Jose - Thurs., 4/26
Palo Alto - Sat., 4/28
Sunnyvale - Mon., 4/30
Palo Alto - Thurs., 5/3
Palo Alto - Thurs., 5/3

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