Page 17 - Senior Times South Central Michigan October 2020 - 27-10
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Senior Times - October 2020
Page 17
        Living with Arthritis
From CareWell Services’ Active Daily Living
My Medicare Matters Open Enrollment via Phone this Year
By: Karen Courtney, Regional MMAP Coordinator, CareWell Services SW
 While there are over a hundred different types of arthritis, they share two common symptoms that can affect a person's ability to participate in activities of daily living:
sleep causing daytime tiredness and lack of energy that affects the ability to complete activities of daily living.
    Benefits counseling is available over the phone this year for Medicare Open Enrollment, October 15 to December 7.
Call 800-803-7174 to set a phone appointment in Battle Creek area, Marshall call (269) 781-0846, Albion area call (517) 629-3842; Barry County residents call (269) 948-4856. The 800-803-7174 number will reach your local MMAP at your local Area Agency on Aging.
Your MMAP counselor will phone you for your appointment session. They may be calling from a cell number, so your caller ID may show “unknown caller.” Please pick up. Your counselor will identify themselves as a “MMAP counselor.”
Information you’ll need for your appointment:
• Your Medicare Card (Red,
White & Blue Card) and any
other insurance cards you use • A print out of your CURRENT
prescription medications or actual bottles. Include prescribed eyedrops, inhalers, skin creams, and injectables. The dosage is needed for each medicine.
• If you have set up your own username and password at, counselors will need that information to help you. If MMAP created your account last season, they can look it up, or can create one with your authorization.
Alternate ways to do comparisons include doing online at, or phoning 1-800-Medicare.
CAUTION: TV commercials are hyping Advantage plans. Please ask all your doctors and specialists which exact Advantage plan insurances they take before you enroll. Zero dollar premiums does NOT mean zero costs for services and prescriptions – you’ll have copays and deductibles with Advantage plans, too.
Please follow the CareWell Services Southwest Facebook page to see any updates on benefits counseling appointment policies.
• Pain and achiness
• Decreased range of motion or
For those living with arthritis, physical therapy can help maintain and/or regain leg strength and the ability to move about as well as improve joint range of motion and balance. Occupational therapy can help the person who has arthritis learn to modify their activities to protect their joints from damage, conserve their energy to be
Which activities are affected depends on which joints are affected. For example:
• If arthritis is in the hands –
tasks that require grip and/
or pinch such as buttoning or opening a jar may be difficult.
able to complete activities, and recommend and train in the use of assistive devices to make it easier to complete activities of daily living. In addition, an OT can make suggestions to change the home or work environment to make it easier and safer to get things done.
 • If arthritis is in the wrists, elbows, or shoulders – activities that require strength for lifting and the range of motion for reach such as getting a casserole from the oven can be difficult.
may be difficult to perform and can lead to increased risk of falling. Additional problems may include difficulty walking and having adequate leg strength for getting up and down from a chair or toilet.
• If arthritis affects the hips and back – activities that require bending over such as unloading the dishwasher or putting on socks may be difficult.
For tips on living with arthritis, sign up for CareWell’s Active Daily Living newsletter on our website at carewellservices.
• If arthritis affects the legs – activities that require standing
• Pain can lead to difficulties with
  Health Screenings – Why Are They Important?
By: Paulette Porter, Program Manager, Special Initiatives, CareWell Services SW
 Health screenings are an effective way to detect a specific issue or condition early, even when there have been no symptoms or signs. Detecting a condition early means getting the right treatment at the right time, which can give people better control over their health.
one of the most important tests. If the blood pressure is high, further tests may be undertaken to determine the cause.
screening – This test is highly recommended for those above the age of 50, with inflammatory bowel disorder, colorectal polyps, and inherited mutations or gene defects.
Health screenings help to identify if the patient is at risk of, or has a disease or condition, that was not previously known about. One of the major risk factors for a variety of life-altering diseases is age. However, with early detection and treatment, the body can be provided with the best defense against these diseases.
Mammograms, osteoporosis and pap smear tests – These tests are undertaken to prevent cervical cancers and breast cancers, as well as other disorders that affect women.
On the CareWell Kiosk, we always provide blood pressure tests and diabetes tests. CareWell also partners with the Calhoun County Health Department, Oaklawn Hospital, Lions
Club, and others to provide flu shots, immunizations, vascular screenings, vision screenings, and STD screenings. Be sure
to look for the CareWell Kiosk around Calhoun County this fall providing pop-up flu shot clinics in conjunction with the Health Department. A schedule will be posted on FaceBook.
Cholesterol tests – The doctor will check a patient’s cholesterol level if the patient is obese, is
a smoker, or frequently drinks alcohol.
Prostate cancer tests – Men must get themselves tested
for prostate cancer if they are obese, have higher levels of testosterone, and/or are over 50 years of age.
Remember: Detecting a condition or disease early can help to prevent a chronic disorder from developing. Furthermore, complications can also be avoided by health screenings.
Diabetes test – The patient may be checked for diabetes if they have a family history, or they have high cholesterol and high blood pressure.
 Below is a list of some of the common tests conducted at a health screening:
Sexually transmitted disease tests – For those who are sexually active, especially where there is more than one sexual partner, screenings for STDs are highly recommended.
 Blood pressure test – This is
Colorectal cancer

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