Friday, November 17, 2017

Care Plans Help Both Older Adults and Caregivers

"Developing and maintaining a care plan will help you balance both your life and that of the person to whom you are providing care!
Are you a caregiver for someone with Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, or another chronic health condition? Caregivers are often family members or friends of a person who is in need of care. Caregivers may manage everything from medications and getting dressed in the morning to doctor appointments, social events, and meals.

What is a care plan?

A care plan is a form[1.48 MB] that summarizes a person’s health conditions and current treatments for their care. The plan should include information about:
  • Health conditions
  • Medications
  • Healthcare providers
  • Emergency contacts
  • Caregiver resources..."

National COPD Awareness Month

"Do you suffer from a frequent cough or wheeze? Are you often short of breath when doing things like running errands or climbing stairs? Your lungs could be trying to tell you something. Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), which includes emphysema and chronic bronchitis, makes breathing difficult for millions of Americans. November is National COPD Awareness Month. Learn if you are at risk for having COPD.
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), which includes emphysema and chronic bronchitis, makes breathing difficult for the 16 million Americans who have been diagnosed with COPD. Millions more suffer from COPD, but have not been diagnosed and are not being treated. COPD can limit your ability to work or even perform simple daily tasks.

Could you have COPD?

The main cause of COPD is tobacco smoke, so if you smoke or used to smoke, you are at a higher risk of having COPD. Exposure to air pollutants like cigarette smoke or outdoor smog in the home or at work, family history, and respiratory infections like pneumonia also increase your risk..."

Membership of the 115th Congress: A Profile

"This report presents a profile of the membership of the 115th Congress (2017-2018) as of November 13, 2017. Statistical information is included on selected characteristics of Members, including data on party affiliation, average age, occupation, education, length of congressional service, religious affiliation, gender, ethnicity, foreign births, and military service.

 In the House of Representatives, there are 242 Republicans (including 1 Delegate and the Resident Commissioner of Puerto Rico), 198 Democrats (including 4 Delegates), and 1 vacant seat. The Senate has 52 Republicans, 46 Democrats, and 2 Independents, who both caucus with the Democrats.

The average age of Members of the House at the beginning of the 115th Congress was 57.8 years; of Senators, 61.8 years, among the oldest in U.S. history. The overwhelming majority of Members of Congress have a college education. The dominant professions of Members are public service/politics, business, and law. Most Members identify as Christians, and Protestants collectively constitute the majority religious affiliation. Roman Catholics account for the largest single religious denomination, and numerous other affiliations are represented, including Jewish, Mormon, Buddhist, Muslim, Hindu, Greek Orthodox, Pentecostal Christian, Unitarian Universalist, and Christian Science..."
115th Congress

Brining Safely Will Bring Tender, Flavorful Meat to the Thanksgiving Table

 "Are you interested in brining a turkey, but aren’t quite sure how to do it safely? USDA is at your service! Though brining may sound like something only done commercially or by a certified chef, it’s quite simple with the right strategy — that means following safe food preparation steps.
Brining simply means to soak your turkey in a water and salt solution (the brine). Often, other ingredients are added to the brine, such as sugar, molasses, honey or corn syrup. The purpose of a brine is to produce a more tender and flavorful turkey.
According to research published in the Journal of Food Science, the salt in the brine dissolves a bit of the protein in the muscle fibers, and allows the meat to absorb the brine and retain moisture during cooking. This makes the poultry juicier, more tender and improves the flavor. There is no shortage of brine recipes, but in order to reap the benefits of brining, you must use the following safe steps.
Brining Steps:
Fresh turkeys can only be kept safely for one to two days, in the refrigerator. Let’s use a fresh whole turkey in our example and follow the four steps to safe food preparation.."
Brining Turkey

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Be Antibiotics Aware: Smart Use, Best Care

"The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), along with national and international partners, will observe the tenth annual U.S. Antibiotic Awareness Week (formerly Get Smart About Antibiotics Week) November 13–19, 2017. This year’s observance coincides with the release of CDC’s Be Antibiotics Aware, a national effort to help improve antibiotic prescribing and use and to help combat antibiotic resistance.
Antibiotic resistance is one of the most urgent threats to the public’s health. Antibiotic resistance occurs when bacteria develop the ability to defeat the drugs designed to kill them. Each year in the United States, at least 2 million people get infected with antibiotic-resistant bacteria, and at least 23,000 people die as a result.
Antibiotics save lives but any time antibiotics are used, they can cause side effects and lead to antibiotic resistance. About 30 percent of antibiotics, or 47 million prescriptions, are prescribed unnecessarily in doctors’ offices and emergency departments in the United States, which makes improving antibiotic prescribing and use a national priority.

Defense Primer: President’s Constitutional Authority with Regard to the Armed Forces

"Article II, Section 2, Clause 1
The President shall be Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the Militia of the several States, when called into the actual Service of the United States; he may require the Opinion, in writing, of the principal Officer in each of the executive Departments, upon any Subject relating to the Duties of their respective Office, and he shall have Power to grant Reprieves and Pardons for Offences against the United States, except in Cases of Impeachment.

Commander in Chief:
The Constitution makes the President Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces, but does not define exactly what powers he may exercise in that role. Nor does it explain the extent to which Congress, using its own constitutional powers, may influence how the President commands the Armed Forces. Separation-of-powers debates seem to arise with some frequency regarding the exercise of military powers..."
Presidential authority and armed forces

Legislation Limiting the President’s Power to Use Nuclear Weapons: Separation of Powers Implications

"Recent proposed legislation that would place limitations on the President’s power to employ nuclear weapons has prompted interest in questions related to the constitutional allocation of power over the United States’ nuclear arsenal. This memorandum examines the constitutional separation of powers principles implicated by legislative proposals that restrict the President’s authority to launch nuclear weapons.1
I. Recent Legislation and Proposals to Restrict First-Use of Nuclear Weapons
 Legislation proposed in the 115th Congress would limit the President’s ability to order a “first-use nuclear strike.”2 On January 24, 2017, identical versions of a bill titled the Restricting First-Use of Nuclear Weapons Act of 2017 (Restricting First-Use Bill) were introduced in both chambers of Congress. The Restricting First-Use Bill would prohibit the President from using the “Armed Forces of the United States to conduct a first-use nuclear strike unless such strike is conducted pursuant to a declaration of war by Congress that expressly authorizes such strike.”3 The term “first-use nuclear strike” is defined as an “attack using nuclear weapons against an enemy that is conducted without the President determining that the enemy has first launched a nuclear strike against the United States or an ally of the United States.”4 While some have advocated that the United States adopt a broader “no-first-use” policy and pledge never to use nuclear weapons first against a nuclear-armed adversary,5 the Restricting First-Use Bill would address the President’s ability to act as the sole decision maker when authorizing use of the nuclear arsenal. The Bill would not address overall U.S. policy on first-use, nor would it modify directly the technical mechanisms through which nuclear weapons are employed..."
President and nuclear weapons

Can Congress Limit the President's Power to Launch Nuclear Weapons?

"Recent legislation proposed in the 115th Congress intended to limit the President's ability to launch nuclear weapons has prompted heightened attention on Congress's constitutional power to control the nuclear arsenal. As outlined in earlier CRS products, the Constitution allocates the authorities necessary to conduct war and other military operations between Congress and the President. But the precise contours of each branch's respective powers have been the subject of debate since the founding era. Moreover, courts traditionally have been reluctant to resolve wartime separation of powers disputes between the legislative and executive branches, often dismissing these cases on jurisdictional grounds without reaching the merits of the constitutional challenges.

Against this backdrop of uncertainty, commentators have reached dramatically differing conclusions on the constitutionality of proposals to restrict the President's power over the nuclear arsenal. Proponents of congressional authority reason that Congress's many enumerated war powers—including the power to power "raise and support Armies" and "provide and maintain a Navy"—necessarily subsume a lesser authority to define how the President may utilize the forces and weapons that Congress has provided. But proponents of executive authority often argue that such restrictions would unconstitutionally infringe on the President's "commander in chief" power to make tactical decisions on how best to subdue an enemy..." 
President and nuclear weapons

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Prevent the Spread of Norovirus

"Norovirus is a germ that spreads quickly and easily. It causes vomiting and diarrhea that come on suddenly. Millions of people get ill with norovirus each year. You can help protect yourself and others by washing your hands often and following simple tips to stay healthy.
Noroviruses are a group of related viruses that can cause inflammation of the stomach or intestines, also known as gastroenteritis (GAS-tro-en-ter-I-tis). This leads to cramping, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.

Norovirus Is the Most Common Cause of Gastroenteritis in the U.S.

CDC estimates that each year in the United States norovirus causes 19 to 21 million illnesses, 56,000 to 71,000 hospitalizations, and 570 to 800 deaths. Anyone can get infected with norovirus, and you can get it more than once. It is estimated that a person will get norovirus about 5 times during their lifetime. Norovirus outbreaks occur throughout the year. But, over 80% of reported outbreaks occur from November to April. Learn more about U.S. Trends and Outbreaks..."

Strengthening Workplace Health, One Resource at a Time

"Use CDC Workplace Health Resource Center to help employees improve their health.
Isabel Kurita of the Boise School District in Idaho promotes healthy lifestyles among employees to lower risks like obesity that may lead to chronic diseases like diabetes. “We have the same concerns as everyone else in the country when it comes to health risks. We want to make sure we have behavior change programs to reach as many people as possible.”
The wellness coordinator for 3,200 employees and retirees, Kurita was happy to find a new place for good ideas and tools to improve her team’s health.
It’s the Workplace Health Resource Center (WHRC), a new website CDC launched in August 2017 with more than 200 tools to help employers build their wellness programs—from breakroom posters to guides on how to reduce heart disease and stroke.
WHRC offers these free resources for organizations to help employees with high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, depression, obesity, smoking, and other health concerns.
CDC introduced the new website at the Public Health Grand Rounds, a monthly series created to encourage discussion on major public health issues like workplace wellness..."
Workplace health

How to Help People with Disabilities Quit Smoking

"The percentage of adults who smoke cigarettes is higher among people with disabilities than people without disabilities. If more people with disabilities are included in smoking cessation programs, the percentage of those who smoke can be reduced.
Tobacco use continues to be the leading preventable cause of death in the United States.1 Although progress has been made with reducing cigarette smoking among U.S. adults, declining from 1 in 5 adults in 2005 (45.1 million smokers) to 1 in 6 adults in 2015 (36.5 million),2 differences in prevalence of smoking between groups of people still persist. For example, in 2014, cigarette smoking was significantly higher among those who reported having any disability (more than 1 in 5 were smokers) compared to those who reported having no disability (about 1 in 6 were smokers). In addition, similar to people without disabilities, research shows that the percentage of smokers among people with disabilities also differs by race and ethnicity. For instance, the percentage of American Indian/Alaska Natives with a disability who smoke cigarettes was almost three times as high as among Asians with a disability (41.2% versus 12.8%)...."
Disabilities and smoking

Food Safety Tips for your Holiday Turkey

"Food handling errors and inadequate cooking are the most common problems that lead to poultry-associated foodborne disease outbreaks in the United States.1 Follow these four food safety tips to help you safely prepare your next holiday turkey meal.

1. Safely Thaw Your Turkey

Thaw turkeys in the refrigerator, in a sink of cold water that is changed every 30 minutes, or in the microwave. Never thaw your turkey by leaving it out on the counter. A frozen turkey is safe indefinitely, but a thawing turkey must defrost at a safe temperature. When the turkey is left out at room temperature for more than two hours, its temperature becomes unsafe as it moves into the danger zone between 40°F and 140°F, where bacteria can grow rapidly.

2. Safely Handle Your Turkey

Raw poultry can contaminate anything it touches with harmful bacteria. Follow the four steps to food safety – cook, clean, chill, and separate – to prevent the spread of bacteria to your food and family..."
Turkey safety tips

Holiday Road Safety

"In the United States, motor vehicle crashes are a leading cause of death for people aged 1‒54, and more than 37,000 people were killed in crashes in 2016. However, many of these deaths can be prevented. Buckle up, drive sober, and stay safe on the roads this holiday season.
Here are some tips to help keep you and others safe on the road over the holidays:
  • Use a seat belt in every seat, on every trip, no matter how short.
  • Make sure children are always properly buckled in the back seat in a car seat, booster seat, or seat belt, whichever is appropriate for their age, height, and weight.
  • Choose not to drive while impaired by alcohol or drugs, and help others do the same.
  • Obey speed limits.
  • Drive without distractions (such as using a cell phone or texting..."
    Holiday travel

Hate Crime Data: 2016

"Hate Crime Summary

November 13, 2017 FBI Releases 2016 Hate Crime Statistics 

Washington, D.C.—Today the FBI released Hate Crime Statistics, 2016, the Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program’s latest compilation about bias-motivated incidents throughout the nation. Submitted by 15,254 law enforcement agencies, the 2016 data provide information about the offenses, victims, offenders, and locations of hate crimes.
Law enforcement agencies submitted incident reports involving 6,121 criminal incidents and 7,321 related offenses as being motivated by bias toward race, ethnicity, ancestry, religion, sexual orientation, disability, gender, and gender identity. Please note the UCR Program does not estimate offenses for the jurisdictions of agencies that do not submit reports. Highlights of Hate Crime Statistics, 2016, follow.
Victims of Hate Crime Incidents
  • There were 6,063 single-bias incidents involving 7,509 victims. A percent distribution of victims by bias type showed that 58.9 percent of victims were targeted because of the offenders’ race/ethnicity/ancestry bias; 21.1 percent were targeted because of the offenders’ religious bias; 16.7 percent were victimized because of the offenders’ sexual-orientation bias; 1.7 percent were targeted because of the offenders’ gender identity bias; 1.0 percent were victimized because of the offenders’ disability bias; and 0.5 percent were victimized because of the offenders’ gender bias. (Due to rounding, percentage breakdowns may not add to 100.0 percent.)

Monday, November 13, 2017

Government Printing, Publications, and Digital Information Management: Issues and Challenges

"In the past half-century, in government and beyond, information creation, distribution, retention, and preservation activities have transitioned from a tangible, paper-based process to digital processes managed through computerized information technologies. Information is created as a digital object which then may be rendered as a text, image, or video file. Those files are then distributed through a myriad of outlets ranging from particular software application and websites to social media platforms. The material may be produced in tangible, printed form, but typically remains in digital formats.

The Government Publishing Office (GPO) is a legislative branch agency that serves all three branches of the national government as a centralized resource for gathering, cataloging, producing, providing, authenticating, and preserving published information. The agency is overseen by the Joint Committee on Printing (JCP) which in 1895 was charged with overseeing and regulating U.S. government printing. GPO operates on the basis of a number of statutory authorities first granted in the 19th and 20th centuries that presume the existence of government information in an ink-on-paper format, because no other format existed when those authorities were enacted. GPO’s activities include the Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP), which provides permanent public access to published federal government information, and which last received legislative consideration in 1962..."
Government Publicaitons