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Physical and mental activity are key components of keeping memory strong in the elderly. (File Photo/MSU Ag Communications)
May 15, 2015 - Filed Under: Family, Health

May is Older Americans Month …

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Many jokes are made about memory loss and aging, but finding ways to combat this inevitable mental decline is no laughing matter.

Experts say time is memory’s worst enemy, and the more time has passed since a memory was made, the less likely a person will be able to recall it. Memory distortion adds another twist, as minds remember things differently over time than when the events occurred.

To make the most of their medical appointments, seniors should create notebooks that include all of their conditions, treatments for those conditions and medications with dosages. (Photo by iStock)
May 11, 2015 - Filed Under: Family, Health, Rural Health

May is Older Americans Month …

RAYMOND, Miss. -- The stress of managing personal health can be physically and emotionally draining for senior citizens and their families, but proper preparation for routine doctor visits can help older adults stay active and robust.

A few basic steps are essential for communicating effectively with the physician and staff, said David Buys, health specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service.

Walking, tai chi, weight-bearing exercises and water workouts, such as water volleyball, will improve strength, balance, coordination and flexibility. (Photo by MSU Ag Communications/Kevin Hudson)
May 6, 2015 - Filed Under: Family, Health

May is Older Americans Month …

STARKVILLE, MISS. -- Preventable falls can lead to catastrophic problems for older adults, so it is important to be proactive.

David Buys, health specialist with the Mississippi University Extension Service and researcher with the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station, said falls send more than 2 million senior adults to emergency rooms every year. A fall, even for a healthy individual, can trigger a series of problems and the loss of independence.

Communication with other family members can help caregivers balance the task with family obligations, work and self care. (Photo by iStock)
May 6, 2015 - Filed Under: Family, Health

May is Older Americans Month …

RAYMOND, Miss. -- Caring for an aging loved one can be overwhelming, especially when balancing the task with family obligations, work and self-care.

Take proper precautions, such as wearing a wide-brimmed hat and applying sunscreen, to protect skin from sun damage and help prevent skin cancer. (Photo by MSU Ag Communications/Kevin Hudson)
May 5, 2015 - Filed Under: Family, Health

May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month …

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- She thought the blemish that refused to heal was simply a persistent pimple.

Shelaine Pennington, a Mississippi State University Extension Service agent in Prentiss County, said the dermatologist looked at the spot on her chin and was relatively certain of the diagnosis, but performed a biopsy to be sure.

The doctor confirmed her diagnosis: basal cell carcinoma, the most common form of skin cancer.

Milder forms of depression in older Americans responds to creative activities such as knitting or gardening as well as by getting more involved in the community through volunteering. (Photo by iStock)
May 4, 2015 - Filed Under: Family, Health

May is Older Americans Month …

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Older Americans may become depressed as they face the many challenges aging brings, but spotting the signs and being proactive can limit the illness’s influence.

This responsibility starts with the ability of family members or caretakers to recognize early signs of depression in the seniors they know.

March 31, 2015 - Filed Under: About Extension, Health

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- A Mississippi State University Extension Service health specialist’s expertise in the battle against chronic disease has put him in the national spotlight.

Mississippi State University Extension Service health specialist David Buys signs a pledge to be screened for colorectal cancer in 2015. Other representatives of the MSU Extension Service, Ann Sansing (from left), Theresa Hand and Natasha Haynes, are joining him in the awareness event at the Mississippi Capitol on March 9, 2015. (Submitted photo)
March 11, 2015 - Filed Under: Family, Health, Colon Cancer Screening

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- When is knowing about a family history of colorectal cancer a good thing?

Clark Roman of Starkville said knowing his family’s increased incidence of colon cancer prompted him to have regular screenings. The result was early diagnosis and a relatively easy treatment. Almost five years after surgery, he is an advocate for people getting screened according to their doctors’ recommendations.

February 19, 2015 - Filed Under: Family, Health, Nutrition

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- The heart is the most vital organ in the body, and keeping it healthy can mean a better and longer life.

Mississippi State University Extension Service dietitians suggest eating more fruits and vegetables in recognition of Natural Fat-Free Living Month in January. (File photo by MSU Ag Communications/Kevin Hudson)
January 14, 2015 - Filed Under: Family, Food and Health, Health, Nutrition

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Losing weight and getting in shape are among the most common New Year’s resolutions, so it is no surprise that many health-oriented organizations recognize January as National Fat-Free Living Month.

Literally living fat-free, however, is impossible, said Brent Fountain, associate professor of human nutrition with the Mississippi State University Extension Service. A certain amount of fat is needed, as it is a primary source of energy and cushions organs and tissues in the body to protect them, he said.

Breaking the smoking habit is hard, but it can lower risks of cancer, heart disease and lung problems. (Photo by iStock)
December 18, 2014 - Filed Under: Family, Health

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Smoking can be a hard habit to kick, but it can be done with the right amount of determination.

Quitting smoking is at the top of many smokers’ New Year’s resolutions list. Smoking is a dangerous health risk, and quitting would contribute to a healthier lifestyle.

David Buys, health specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said two main factors trigger smoking.

Stress and a lack of sleep can cause fatigue, interfere with productivity, and increase health problems. (Photo by iStock)
December 17, 2014 - Filed Under: Family, Health

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- New Year’s Resolutions can be difficult to maintain, but one that is worth keeping is getting more sleep at night.

David Buys, state health specialist for the Mississippi State University Extension Service and researcher with the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station, said a lack of sleep can lead to serious problems at home, on the job and on the road.

Holiday stress can trigger excessive drinking for alcoholics. Individuals in recovery from alcohol addiction should avoid gatherings with alcohol or make special arrangements if they must attend. (Photo from istockphoto/Chagin)
December 5, 2014 - Filed Under: Family, Health

RAYMOND -- Holiday celebrations that include alcohol can put extra stress on those battling or recovering from alcohol addiction and their families.

“Around the holidays, alcohol abounds at parties and family gatherings,” said David Buys, health specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service. “Being around alcohol and others who might be ‘old drinking buddies’ could drive temptation higher.”

Feelings of social isolation, whether perceived or actual, and anxiety can increase during the holiday season and trigger excessive drinking, Buys said.

Experts say patience, care and communication are vital as families navigate grief during the holidays. (Photo by Getty Images/iStockphoto)
November 24, 2014 - Filed Under: Family, Health

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Compounding the chaos of the holidays with the recent loss of a loved one can make the entire season downright overwhelming.

Experts from Mississippi State University recommend that those coping with the loss of a loved one slow down amid the hustle and bustle of the season.

Frequent hand-washing is one of the best ways to prevent illness while travelling. While soap and water are best, an alcohol-based hand sanitizer is an on-the-go substitute. (Submitted Photo/Kathy Lawrence)
November 14, 2014 - Filed Under: Family, Health

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Keeping healthy over the holidays is all about the germs.

David Buys, health specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said frequent, proper hand-washing and a flu shot are the best prevention tools.

“Flu and respiratory illnesses are the most common sicknesses in the winter, and they are both transmitted by mucus,” he said. “Viruses and bacteria are transmitted when somebody coughs or sneezes on their hand, and you touch their hand or an object they have touched, such as a doorknob, and then touch your mouth or nose.”

October 23, 2014 - Filed Under: Health, Rural Health

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- The Mississippi State University Extension Service is promoting diabetes awareness in a series of health fairs.

Frequent hand washing is essential in reducing the spread of germs and more effective than hand sanitizers alone. (Photo by MSU Ag Communications/Jonathan Parrish)
October 14, 2014 - Filed Under: Family, Health

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Enterovirus-68 is making headlines and drawing attention to the importance of taking precautions even before cold and flu season arrives.

Dr. Thomas Dobbs, state epidemiologist with the Mississippi State Department of Health, said a strain of enterovirus is causing serious complications in some children in 42 states, including Mississippi, as of the first of October. Strains of enterovirus have been around since the 1960s, but they have never been seen as severe as this year.

Eddie McReynolds of Starkville helps his 10-year-old son, Reece, develop his throwing skills for a game of disc golf. The McReynoldses practiced together near the Starkville Sportsplex on Sept. 3, 2014. (Photo by MSU Ag Communications/Linda Breazeale)
September 4, 2014 - Filed Under: Health

September: National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month…

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Mississippi’s childhood obesity rates, like the pounds in an effective weight loss program, are slowly coming down.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently released statistics reflecting a slight improvement among Mississippi high school students. From 2007 until 2009, 18 percent of the state’s high school students were considered obese. That peak declined to 16 percent in 2011 and 15 percent in 2013.

The first step in avoiding disease agents transmitted by mosquitoes or ticks is to wear insect repellents containing DEET. (Photo by MSU Ag Communications/Kevin Hudson)
August 27, 2014 - Filed Under: Family, Health, Insects-Human Pests, Insects

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Very few insect-related deaths occur in the United States compared with the rest of the world, but that does not mean Americans can ignore the risks.

Jerome Goddard, entomology professor with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said millions of deaths occur worldwide each year from disease agents transmitted by mosquitoes, ticks and fleas. Several diseases are more common among people living in or traveling to tropical regions, but Americans have their share and should maintain their guard to protect themselves.

Staying physically active and eating healthy foods are lifestyle choices that pay big dividends over time, including being well enough to keep up with the grandkids. (Photo by Thinkstock)
August 22, 2014 - Filed Under: Family, Health

Sept. 7: National Grandparents Day

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Getting older can make chasing after the grandkids tougher, but positive choices now can make it possible to keep up with them for years to come.

David Buys, health specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said that physical, mental and social wellness each play an important role in aging well.

Physical …

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