Youth Heart Disease Information

youth heart disease info

Heart Disease

Youth Health Bulletin

Have you ever heard that someone you know has heart disease? It is a very common illness, and in fact, more than 60 million Americans have it. Wally Cat wants to make sure you know what heart disease is and how you can take care of your heart.

What is Heart Disease?

Heart disease is also known as cardiovascular disease. As you may have guessed, a person who has heart disease has problems with their heart and blood vessels — they are not working the way they should.

There are many problems that people with heart disease have, such as high blood pressure and chest pains. People with heart disease are also more likely to have heart attacks and strokes. A heart attack is when there is a blockage of blood flow to the heart. This means that the heart is not getting the blood that is needed for it to work properly. A stroke is when a place in the brain is not getting enough blood.

Other Problems for People With Heart Disease

  • The arteries get hard, making it more difficult to move blood through the body.
  • An area of fat and cholesterol builds up, making the passageway for blood narrower. This makes it harder for blood to get to the body.

Can You Catch Heart Disease?

Heart disease is not an illness that is spreads by germs like a cold! There are risk factors that can increase a person’s chances of getting heart disease. Some of the risk factors cannot be controlled, such as getting older and having other people in the family with the disease. There are some risk factors that can be controlled, such as smoking, having high blood pressure, being overweight, or not exercising enough.

How Do You Prevent Heart Disease?

There are ways you can start to prevent heart disease even at your age. You can watch out for some of the risk factors like high blood pressure, obesity, and physical inactivity. As a child, you can watch what you eat and how much you are active.

youth heart disease information

Try to eat lots of fruits and vegetables — and if they are fresh, even better! Also, you should try to be as active as you can. Throughout the day, you should be active for at least an hour. You also want to be aware of how much time you are sitting in front of a screen, whether it is the TV, computer, tablet, or phone. This type of activity has little to no physical activity.

Fun ways to be physically active include:

  • Riding your bike. You might be able to go for a bike ride in your neighborhood or at a nearby park.
  • Swimming. Join a swim team through your school or community. The Oldham County YMCA has an indoor pool so you can stay active even during winter.
  • Walking your dog. Physical activity is good for you and Fido too!

Wally Cat wants you to know about heart disease because it affects so many people. He also wants you to start good habits to protect your heart, such as eating healthy and staying active.

Written by Nicole Peritore, Kentucky Extension Specialist for Family Health. Edited by Connee Wheeler, Senior Extension Specialist, and Lauren State, Oldham County Extension Staff Assistant. Source material from the Centers for Disease Control. Wally Cat illustrations by Chris Ware (© University of Kentucky School of Human Environmental Sciences).

Get Your Kids to Eat Their Veggies

get kids to eat veggies

Getting Children to Eat Their Veggies

Do you hear “I don’t like vegetables!” during family dinner? According to research from the American Academy for Science and the Centers for Disease Control, children turn up their noses at vegetables because parents have not made them readily available. Let’s face it, few children will take the time to wash a head of broccoli or cauliflower, break the pieces apart, serve them up on a plate, and then eat them.

Parents can increase the chances that their children will eat a particular vegetable if it is in a small container or individual plastic bag in the refrigerator. This makes vegetables an easy snack option for children to choose themselves.

get kids eating veggies

Children form food habits at an early age. Research shows a correlation between picky children and picky adults. It is important for parents to introduce good eating habits in children when they are young. It is, however, never too late to start.

Tips to Get Children to Eat Vegetables

Be a role model. Offer vegetables to children by eating them yourself. Let children approach them on their own.

Set some rules. Children usually will accept vegetables in an environment where parents set appropriate rules. For example, it is okay to tell your child they need to taste a vegetable before they decide they do not like it.

Stay positive. Using strategies such as punishment, threats, force, or even offering the child a reward have been shown to be unsuccessful ways of teaching children to eat vegetables. Vegetables should be offered in a relaxed environment.

Don’t give up. Keep offering the vegetables. It might be helpful to offer the vegetable to the child in different ways or mixing the vegetable with other foods. Many parents throw in the towel after the child refuses a vegetable the first time, but understand that children generally have a fear of new foods. It may take about eight to ten tries with a vegetable before your child is ready to taste it. In addition, it may take a lot more tasting before your child gets to the point where he or she likes the vegetable. Be patient as your child experiences new foods.

Be creative. Offer children vegetables in different forms (cooked, raw, and mixed with other foods) before you decide they do not like them.

Be flexible. Children vary in how much they eat and what they like. Each child is an individual. Do not have predetermined ways in which your child should eat or accept vegetables.

Be reasonable. Keep in mind that vegetable servings for children are smaller than vegetable servings for adults. A general guideline is one tablespoon of vegetable for each year of life. Do not have unrealistic expectations for your child.

Give options. Offer a variety of vegetables at a particular meal. This allows children to be able to choose a vegetable they like.

get your children to get their vegetables

Take Action: Make it Happen

Vegetables offers protection from many diseases, and thanks to the vitamins and minerals they provide, improves your child’s health. It is important for children to eat the recommended amount of vegetables daily.

Parents, try these tricks to make vegetables more enticing to your children:

  • Offer vegetables daily. Children will not eat vegetables if parents do not cook and serve them.
  • Let children pick out a vegetable of the week at the grocery store.
  • Make vegetables easy for children to grab and eat. Have ready to eat vegetable snacks in small bags in the refrigerator.
  • Set out a plate of vegetables with dip before dinner or when children get home from school.
  • Prepare vegetables in a way in which they are tender but crisp. Children tend to dislike mushy vegetables and many prefer raw vegetables for this reason.
  • Include two vegetables at dinner; try offering both cooked and raw vegetables. This allows children to have a choice of vegetable they want to eat.
  • Add lettuce leaves to sandwiches.
  • Add blended vegetables such as spinach to spaghetti sauce, soups, and casserole. It is a good idea to blend or cut up the vegetable finely before adding it to spaghetti sauce. Children may not even notice the vegetable is there.
  • Make food fun. Let children create funny faces or animals with cut up vegetables.
  • Let children help prepare vegetable recipes; they generally enjoy what they have made.
  • Allow kids to make their own salad. Put out small bowls of baby carrots, cherry tomatoes, shredded leaf lettuce, raisins, fruit, and crunch noodles. They love the feeling of control that comes from doing it themselves.
  • Try heirloom vegetables. Kids get excited about interesting vegetables. Take your children to a farmer’s market and have them pick out the heirlooms they would like to try.

getting kids to eat veggies

Written by Ingrid Adams, Nutrition and Food Science Extension Specialist; Mallory Foster, Family and Consumer Sciences graduate student; and Lauren State, Oldham County Extension Staff Assistant.

Recall Alert: EpiPens, Aldi’s Peas, Hunt’s Chili Kits

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) releases food and drug recall notices to help consumers stay informed. Sign up to receive email notifications of Recalls, Market Withdrawals, and Safety Alerts.

EpiPens Recalled

Mylan is recalling EpiPens (epinephrine injections) and EpiPen Jrs due to potential defects. A defective EpiPen may require unnecessary force in order to deploy medicine, or in some cases, the device may altogether fail. Epinephrine, the drug injected by an EpiPen, is first aid treatment for an individual undergoing anaphylactic shock, or life-threatening allergic reaction.

The recall was originally limited to Australia, New Zealand, Europe and Japan but has since expanded to include the United States. Outside of the United Stated, there have been two cases reported of individuals whose EpiPens failed during emergency situations. Both patients, fortunately, were able to use alternate EpiPens in order to obtain treatment.

Both faulty EpiPens came from the same lot, but additional lots are now being recalled out of precaution. The potentially defective EpiPens were distributed between December 2015 and July 2016. Recalled lots in the United States are listed below.

faulty epipens recalled

The image below indicated where to find the lot number on an EpiPen package.

recalling epipens

Patients carrying recalled EpiPens are encouraged to return them for replacements, free of charge. The manufacturing company can also be contacted via 800-796-9526 or customer.service@mylan.com.

Aldi’s Peas Recalled

Just under two thousand packages of Season’s Choice Frozen Peas are being voluntarily recalled due to potential Listeria monocytogenes contamination. Listeria infections can be serious or even fatal in young children, the elderly, or other persons with weakened immune systems. Symptoms include high fever, nausea, stiffness, severe headache, abdominal pain, and diarrhea. Pregnant women who are infected with Listeria may suffer miscarriages or stillbirths.

The recalled frozen peas were distributed to Aldi Stores in Florida, Iowa, Illinois, Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, and West Virginia. Identify the recalled product by its label code:

Season’s Choice Sweet Peas, Net Weight 16 oz (1 LB) 454 g UPC code 041498164294

Code: DC17038 PLAB6176 BEST BY 08 2018

DC27038 PLAB6176 BEST BY 08 2018

DC27038 BNAF7286 BEST BY 08 2018

DC37038 BNAF7286 BEST BY 08 2018

DC47038 PLAC6216 BEST BY 08 2018

DC57038 PLAC6216 BEST BY 08 2018

Consumers may returned recalled products to place of purchase for full refunds.

Hunt’s Chili Kit Recalled

On April 2, Conagra initiated a voluntary recall of its Hunt’s Chili Kits due to potential Salmonella contamination of the chili seasoning packets. Symptoms of a Salmonella infection include abdominal cramps, fever, and diarrhea. An otherwise healthy individual may recover without treatment, although some cases of severe diarrhea lead to hospitalization. Salmonella infections pose the greatest risk to infants, the elderly, and others with weakened immune systems.

The recalled chili kits were distributed in retail stores and online, as well as through military commissaries, across the United States. Identify a recalled product via UPC and Manufacturing Lot Codes.

Item Description UPC MFG/Lot Code Best By Date
HUNT’S CHILI KIT 44.8OZ 20-0-27000-42063-2 3534619500 Apr 04, 2018
HUNT’S CHILI KIT 44.8OZ 20-0-27000-42063-2 3534622200 May 01, 2018
HUNT’S CHILI KIT 44.8OZ 20-0-27000-42063-2 3534619600 April 5, 2018

The below picture demonstrates where to find the information that can be used to identify a recalled chili product.

hunts recall

Organ Donation Facts and Fiction

Organ Donation: Did You Know?

There are many myths about organ donation. These myths may result in someone not wanting to be a donor. Learn a little more about common myths and whether there is any truth to them.

organ donor

Myth 1: If I have a chronic medical condition, I cannot be a donor.

Fact: Regardless of your medical history, you can sign up to be a donor. There are actually a few conditions in which a donation would not be possible. These include HIV infection, active cancer, or infection that affected the whole body. If a person is listed as a donor, the transplant team will determine if a donation of possible at the time of the donor’s death.

organ donation

Myth 2: If I am at a hospital and the healthcare team sees that I am a donor, they will not try to save my life.

Fact: When a person is admitted to the hospital, the healthcare team’s priority is to take care of the person and save their life if needed. Donation of organs is not part of the conversation until all other lifesaving methods have been used.

Myth 3: People who have a lot of money or are famous get to the top of the waiting list faster than anyone else.

Fact: There is a national computer system that works to match up donors and recipients. The match comes from comparing the donor and medical information of the receiver of the organs. Blood type, type spent waiting, and geographical location all come under consideration as well. How much money a person has, their race, or celebrity status are never used to determine recipients.

organ donor

Myth 4: There are people out there who could take my organs and sell them.

Fact: In the United States, there are federal laws that ban the buying and selling of human organs. A person or company that breaks these laws can be fined or given prison sentences.

Myth 5: If I donate organs, my family cannot have an open casket at the funeral.

Fact: When organs are donated, a body is treated with care throughout the process. In most cases, an open casket funeral is possible for those who donate organs, tissues, and even eyes.

organ donor health bulletin

Donating organs can be a big decision but could save many lives. Don’t let myths about donation stop you from being an organ donor.

Source material from U.S. Government Information on Organ Donation and Transplantation. Written by Nicole Peritore, Kentucky Extension Specialist for Family Health. Edited by Connee Wheeler, Senior Extension Specialist, and Lauren State, Oldham County Extension Staff Assistant. Originally published by Kentucky Extension in the April 2017 Adult Health Bulletin.

KY Spring Native Flowers

Home to over twenty-five hundred plant species, Kentucky is a veritable wildflower garden. Kentucky native spring flowers include bloodroot, spring beauty, and Virginia bluebells.

KY native wildflower

Bloodroot

Spring Kentucky Native Flower

One of the earliest blooming wildflowers in Kentucky, bloodroot (Sanguinaria canadensis) appears in the late winter and early spring. This native wildflower gets its name from its red-orange rhizome and the red juice that can be squeezed from it. Native Americans used bloodroot to treat fever, ulcers, ringworm, and skin infections. It finds use in dye-making and is also being studied for possible anti-cancer properties. Bloodroot, however, is toxic when ingested, causing vomiting and loss of consciousness.

Bloodroot can be planted from seed or through root division. It can grow in sun or shade as long as rich, moist soil is available. You will find this short wildflower in both Kentucky’s woodlands and open fields. Bloodroot’s white flowers, yellow stamens at the center, are about an inch and a half to two inches across. A single round leaf accompanies each flower.

KY wildflowers in blooms

Spring Beauty

Kentucky Spring Wildflower

Spring beauty (Claytonia Virginica) is another of Kentucky’s early spring wildflowers. Less than a foot in height, the small white to pink flowers emerge before the trees begin to leaf out. Spring beauty opens in the morning to take in the sun’s warmth and closes again each evening. Its inconspicuous leaves blend in with surrounding grasses. Like many wildflowers, its loveliness is fading, blooms lasting only a couple weeks.

Claytonia readily reseeds itself and can be found soaking up the sun across the eastern United States. Gardeners can collect the seeds to bring a little spring beauty to their own gardens.

Spring beauty owes its name to John Clayton, an eighteenth century naturalist who so impressed Benjamin Franklin that the founding father “granted him free mail privileges for shipping his plants and letters.”

KY wildflowers in bloom

Virginia Bluebells

Ephemeral KY Native Wildflower

When traversing Kentucky’s woodlands in the early spring, you may encounter Virginia bluebells (Mertensia virginica), also called cowslip or mertensia. Virginia bluebells flourish in sandy and loamy soil and can often be found along creeks and other waterways. Nurseries and seed catalogs also carry these spring beauties. The nodding, bell-shaped wildflowers vary from blue to purple to pink. The inch-long trumpets bloom in clusters. Bluebells grow to a height of one to two feet, and if the growing conditions are right, they may quickly spread and naturalize. Bees, butterflies, and moths all pollinate them.

This Kentucky native wildflower springs up after the last hard frost in March or April. A spring ephemeral, Virginia bluebells only bloom for two to three weeks before going to seed. The foliage dies back by early summer. Mass plantings are breath-taking while Virginia bluebells are in bloom, but they are short-lived and may leave a “hole” in your landscape once they have died back. Keep this transience in mind when planting bluebells in your garden.

Virginia bluebells were a favorite of Thomas Jefferson’s and still grow at the Monticello today.

KY Rain Garden Wildflowers

Kentucky Wildflowers

Native Plants Attract Butterflies and Bees

Interested in planting wildflowers for pollinators? Bloodroot, spring beauty, and Virginia bluebells all attract butterflies and bees.

For more information on using native plants to attract butterflies, check out the following resources:

oldham county kentucky gardening

Oldham County Gardening

Upcoming Gardening Classes

Oldham County Extension offers educational classes, the following of which are free and open to the public. RSVP for an upcoming gardening class in Oldham County, Kentucky via (502) 222-9453 or lauren.state@uky.edu. To get notifications of upcoming gardening classes, contact the Oldham County Extension office.

Hellebores
Friday, March 24, 6:30 p.m.
Biologist Anne Cartwright of the American Hosta Society discusses another of her favorite flowers: hellebores. This gardening class is sponsored by the Oldham County Master Gardener Association.

Wildflower Walks With Tavia
Saturday, March 25
Woodland Garden Walk: 10:15 a.m.
Forest Trails Wildflower Walk: 12:15 p.m.
March is a marvelous time to rediscover our scenic landscape and its many inhabitants. Tavia will share share medicinal uses of plants, how they got their names, any fun strategies of how they reproduce, and “flora-lore” and stories that have been told by Native Americans.

Vegetable Gardening
Tuesday, April 11, 6:30 p.m.
Horticulturist Michael Boice will share tips on establishing and maintaining a successful home vegetable garden.

Gardening for Wildlife
Thursday, May 4, 6:30 p.m.
Master Gardener Mike Guelda discusses using native plants to draw in birds, bees, and butterflies. This gardening class is sponsored by the Oldham County Master Gardener Association.

Year-Round Irises
Thursday, May 11, 10:00 a.m.
Bob Strohman, author of the recently published Iris Red, Iris Dead and member of the Louisville Iris Society, shows how to have irises in bloom all twelve months of the year. This gardening class is sponsored by the Oldham County Master Gardener Association.

Photographs by Jennifer Anderson (USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database), Paul Henjum, Christian Hummert, SB Johnny, Ryan Kaldari, Nicholas A. Tonelli, Sudhir Viswarajan. Used under the Creative Commons License.

Written by Lauren State, Oldham County Master Gardener. Reviewed by Traci Missun, Oldham County Agriculture & Natural Resources Agent.

March Food Recalls

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) releases food and drug recall notices to help consumers stay informed. Sign up to receive email notifications of Recalls, Market Withdrawals, and Safety Alerts.

Edamame (Soybean) Recall

On March 16, Advanced Fresh Concepts (AFC) issued a recall for packaged Edamame (soybeans) due to the potential of Listeria monocytogenes contamination. Listeria infections can be serious, even fatal, in young children, the elderly, pregnant women, and other persons with weakened immune systems. Symptoms include fever, severe headache, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain, and diarrhea. A Listeria infection can also cause a pregnant woman to suffer a miscarriage, stillbirth, or fetal infection.

The recalled products were sold in eight ounce (227 gram) packages, labeled “Edamame – Soybeans in Pods” with UPC 0-23012-00261-9. Packaging also bears a date between January 1 and March 17 of this year. The recalled soybeans were distributed through sushi counters in grocery stores, cafeterias, and corporate dining centers in Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Washington DC, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, North Carolina, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Washing, and Wyoming.

Recalled soybean packages are white with black and blue text:

soybean recall

Consumers who have purchased the recalled soybeans are encouraged to return packages to place of purchase for full refunds.

Wellness Dog Food Recalled

WellPet is voluntarily recalling a specific recipe of canned dog food topper due to elevated levels of beef thyroid hormone. Although beef thyroid hormone is naturally occurring, elevated levels may adversely affect your dog’s metabolism. Initial symptoms include anxiousness, increased heart rate, increased thirst, increased urination, and weight loss. Prolonged effects include vomiting, diarrhea, and rapid/difficulty breathing. If your dog has experienced any of these symptoms, contact your veterinarian.

Wellness 95% Beef Topper For Dogs is the only recipe affected by this dog food recall. The product is sold in 13.2 ounce cans bearing Best By Dates of February 2, August 29, and August 30 of 2019. Recalled dog food cans were distributed online and at pet retailers throughout North America.

dog food recall

As of March 17, the FDA had received reports that three dogs were affected by the increased levels of beef thyroid hormone in Wellness 95% Beef Topper For Dogs. WellPet’s investigation led to this voluntary recall. The dogs in question have since full recovered.

“Please know that safeguarding the health and wellbeing of pets is of the utmost importance to us. We fully intend on maintaining the trust you have placed in us to keep your pets healthy and happy, and are removing this product as part of our ongoing commitment to quality and food safety.”

-Camelle Kent, WellPet CEO

Blue Buffalo Dog Food Recalled

Blue Buffalo Company has issued a voluntary recall for one production lot of BLUE Wilderness Rocky Mountain Recipe Red Meat Dinner Wet Food for Adult Dog. The recalled dog food may contain increased levels of a naturally occurring beef thyroid hormone. Prolonged consumption of the affected product may result in serious symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, and rapid or difficulty breathing.

BLUE Wilderness Rocky Mountain Recipe Red Meat Dinner Wet Food for Adult Dogs is sold in 12.5 ounce cans. The recalled lot can be identified by UPC Code 840243101153 and Best By Date of June 7, 2019.

dog food recalled

Only one dog has been reported ill in connection with the Blue Buffalo canned dog food recall. Blue Buffalo’s investigation led to the voluntary recall. The dog which ate the affected product has made a complete recovery.

The recalled canned dog food was distributed online and at pet retailers across the nation. Consumers should cease feeding the affected Blue Buffalo dog food and return it to place of purchase for full refunds.

Nutiva Shakes Recalled

On March 18, Organic Superfoods company Nutiva issued a voluntary recall for specific vanilla shakes. The Vanilla Flavor Organic Plant Based Protein Superfood 30 Shakes are being recalled due to a potential peanut contamination. People with peanut allergies run the risk of an allergic reaction by consuming the recalled shake products.

The recalled shakes were packaged in ten 1.2 ounce (34 gram) packets or 21.6 ounce jars. The expiration date is September 20, 26, or 27 of 2018. The recalled Nutivaa shakes were distributed online and through retailers in California, Colorado, Florida, New Hampshire, Oregon, and Texas.

For product replacement or refund, contact Nutiva at (800) 993-4367 between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m., or email help@nutiva.com.

Adapting Your Garden As You Age

Tips For The Aging Gardener

Love gardening but afraid your body can no longer physically handle the work? A few simple adjustments can help make the work easier, allowing you to continue enjoying your hobby.

Like an athlete, the gardener develops gardening skills through repeated activities like digging, weeding, mulching, etc. We learn how to use tools to get the job done with the least amount of efforts and the best results.

gardening tips

Through my wife, an occupational therapist, I have learned a lot about adapting physical activities to fit a person’s ability. Her background includes work with children and seniors.

I have been gardening and landscaping since the late 1970s. Following my back surgery in 1995, I discovered the importance of proper lifting, carrying, and digging techniques for gardening. Recommended habits can be modified. Don’t wait for back surgery to take a look at your gardening habits. I still garden and do strenuous work, but I listen to my body and take a break, change my position, or stop when needed. Well, sometimes I go past my limit — but not far — and when I do, I pay more attention to my posture. Staying active is important to maintain endurance, flexibility, and energy.

The Aging Gardener

When we age, endurance is often the first thing to go. We can’t work as long. We feel weak, unable to lift and move plants like we used to, and familiar tasks take longer to complete. If you’re having these experiences, it might be necessary to reevaluate the size of the garden or change its maintenance requirements. Reduce the overall maintenance of deep perennial beds, for example, by making them narrowing and backing them with shrubs.

The loss of flexibility is also one of the first signs of aging. An injury or development of arthritis are among several things that can cause reduced flexibility. This limits our ability to maneuver in the garden: getting up and down, twisting or changing position while pulling weeds or picking flowers, and cleaning up dead leaves. Of course, gardening does help us maintain flexibility. Reduced flexibility needs to be considered when we decide what needs to be changed to make it easier to maneuver in the garden.

Additional limiting changes include poor balance and persistent back and joint pain. Once these changes start, gardening becomes more of a challenge, so modifying your garden as you develop it could help in the long run.

Adapting Your Garden As You Age

Let’s look at the garden. What is the size and layout of your garden? Is your garden large with numerous perennial plantings and border gardens, or is it smaller, including just the area surrounding your house with maybe a small vegetable garden? The style, size, and area of your garden will determine the approach needed when making modifications so that you can enjoy gardening again.

Note that annual and perennial plantings need a lot of maintenance because of their constant change and growth rate. Lawns, trees, and shrubs also require maintenance but not as often as flower beds.

We don’t want to limit our garden, build expensive raised beds, and, most of all, reduce the size of our garden once it is established because there are always new plants to try. We should look ahead. Look at what has recently changed in your ability to maintain your garden. What are your immediate limitations? Decide what you will be able to handle and still enjoy gardening. Will you be able to have someone available to help (maybe a family member or young gardening enthusiast) to keep your garden as it is?

gardening as you age

Gardens are a collective of plants that we desired to grow at one point or another. Some, though attractive, are not your favorite. Select those plants that are your favorites and reconsider how to handle the rest. Changes based on a landscape plan can be made all at once or over a period of years. If you decide to do the work yourself, start with your most labor-intensive space. Look for plants that need less attention. Reduce the overall maintenance of deep perennial beds by making them narrower then backing them with shrubs. Another solution might be creating a pollinator garden that requires minimum upkeep and can be mown off once a year.

Reduce reaching distance and amount of leaning forward to pull weeds or spread mulch. If you can only access a bed from one side, ensure it is no wider than two feet. Beds accessible from both sides can be four feet in width.

To make the work easier, use quality tools and keep them clean and sharp. A rusty shovel is more difficult to dig with because the soil will stick to it more. A sharp hoe will cut through weeds easier than a dull one. Consider automatic watering and semi-automatic watering systems for gardening to reduce the amount of hand watering. Soaker hoses and single drip emitters are two options.

Making Your Garden More Accessible

Once you have decided what changes to make to your garden, you can make them yourself with family help or hire a landscaper to install them for you.

The design of large gardens will need to provide easy access to all the plants with wide, level walkways on both sides of four-foot-wide beds. Create shaded areas in the garden using trellises, gazebos, and small trees so you can get out of the sun a while. Benches provide a comfortable place to sit and rest.

Walkways should be wide and level enough to accommodate a wheelchair. Turf, smooth recessed stepping stones, or paving stones make a good surface for wheelchair access. Mulch and loose gravel are often hard to push through and can also become a slipping hazard.

Smaller garden areas can be created using a number of large containers grouped together or as single planters.

Container Gardening

container gardening

Container gardening can reducing your gardening stress, and the many different and attractive containers available add interesting focal points to your garden.

You can also turn just about anything into a container garden. From teapots to milk jugs, wooden dressers to wine barrels, let your creativity run wild!

Raised Bed Gardening

Consider installing raised beds that reduce bending over by allowing you to work in a standing or seated position. Standing, you may be able to maintain a three-foot-deep bed, while two feet is manageable if seated.

raised bed gardening

Raised beds can be a very attractive part of a landscape, defining walkways and providing a more formal appearance. Height often varies from six inches to three feet tall. Raised beds can be constructed in many styles using a wide variety of materials, including treated wood, concrete blocks, stone, and more. Various shapes and curves can be included to help blend the raised garden into your existing landscape, making it both attractive and functional.

Vertical Gardening

Unique garden features like vertical gardening with wall planters and trellises allow you to work while standing up. You can buy a premade trellis or build one yourself. Pots can be stacked or arranged on a riser. Like container gardening, vertical gardening is an opportunity to get creative in the garden.

vertical gardening ideas

Growing vegetables using vertical trellises reduces bending and picking. Many vegetables grow well when trellised. Cucumbers, beans, squash, and melons can all climb the traditional store-bought garden trellis.

Straw Bale Gardening

Another simplified gardening method that lifts your garden, making it more accessible, is straw bale gardening. This gardening method can be incredibly productive. It also cuts out all of the digging and cultivating that can be hard on the body. Straw bale gardening does, however, require several weeks of setup. A good guidebook is Straw Bale Gardens – The Breakthrough Method for Growing Vegetables Anywhere, Earlier and With No Weeding by Joel Karsten.

Reduce Your Garden Stress

Every garden and every gardener is unique. Consider your body type and abilities when adapting your garden as you age. Understand that your garden is limited by your physical abilities and personal interests as well as the location of the garden itself.

  • Reduce the overall size of the garden
  • Trade out high maintenance annuals and perennials for lower maintenance shrubs and trees
  • Reduce the amount of reaching, leaning, and bending with raised bed and vertical gardens
  • Garden small with container gardening
  • Keep your tools in good shape so they’re easier to work with

With these tips in mind, make changes that allow you to continue enjoying your gardening hobby without the stress of a high-maintenance landscape.

Written by Michael Boice, Oldham County Extension Horticulture Assistant. Edited by Lauren State, Oldham County Extension Staff Assistant.

Reference: National AgrAbility Project, ‘Arthritis and Gardening: A Guide for Home Gardeners and Small-Scale Producers.’ Purdue University, 2016.

Cook Flavorful Food With Fewer Calories

The following Family & Consumer Science article printed in the March 2, 2017 edition of the Oldham Era.

healthy cooking recipes

More Flavor, Fewer Calories

Looking for ways to make fewer calories deliver more nutrition? Search for recipes that help you trim energy intake. Make sure to read all available nutritional information. You can even find phone apps that help you count calories and track other nutritional information such as vitamins, fiber, and sugar.

Sometimes, you may need to use a little of “the real thing” to get the flavor you crave. Start by reducing fats and sugars rather than cutting them out completely. Here are some tips for cooking to add flavor without too much fat or added sugar:

  • For some foods, like cheese or salad dressings, try reduced-fat instead of fat-free products. You may want to try using a ratio of two-thirds reduced-fat product to one-third real thing.
  • Try using one-third less sugar in your recipes or using a sugar substitute like stevia.
  • Make your sweet treats count. Cook with fruits, vegetables, and low-fat dairy ingredients in muffins and in desserts like banana pudding or sweet potato pie.
  • Add whole-wheat, soy, flax, or oatmeal to pancakes for more flavor and fiber.
  • Try roasting or smoking vegetables to give them more flavor without added calories.
  • Herbs and spices give foods distinctive flavors. When food is flavorful we may be satisfied with a smaller amount. Experiment with herbs like marjoram, thyme, or rosemary to see what tastes good to you. Buy herbs and spices on sale to stock your shelf with many possible ways to flavor your foods.
  • Garlic, onions, and celery add a lot of flavor with few calories.
  • When cooking a rice or pasta side dish, add frozen spinach or canned mushrooms to cut calories and add flavor.

healthy low calorie snack

Try new recipes and experiment with flavor profiles! Check out this low calorie, low sodium Apple Coleslaw recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 2 apples (1 red, 1 green), cored and chopped
  • 1/2 head of green cabbage, shredded (3 cups)
  • 1 cup shredded carrots
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 3/4 cup low fat vanilla yogurt
  • Optional: raisins or grapes

Directions:

  1. Mix yogurt and honey in a large bowl.
  2. Add other ingredients, mix together lightly.

Makes 12 servings.
Serving size: 1/2 cup
Cost per recipe: $3.38
Cost per serving: $0.28
Nutrition facts per serving: 45 calories, 0 g fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 25 mg sodium, 10 g carbohydrate, 2 g fiber, 7 g sugar, 1 g protein

healthy apple coleslaw recipe

Find more healthy recipes like this on the Oldham County Extension website.

Educational programs of the Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service serve all people regardless of economic or social status and will not discriminate on the basis of race, color, ethnic origin, national origin, creed, religion, political belief, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, pregnancy, marital status, genetic information, age, veteran status, or physical or mental disability.

Written by Janet Mullins, Extension Specialist for Food and Nutrition, and Lauren State, Oldham County Extension Staff Assistant. Recipe from Debra Cotterill, Director of Kentucky Extension Nutrition Education Program.

Whooping Cough Fact Sheet

Pertussis (Whooping Cough)

You may have heard about the cases of whooping cough in Lexington. Although most persons you may meet are vaccinated against the illness, it is important to be aware of whooping cough, its symptoms, and treatment.

Pertussis, commonly known as whooping cough, is a respiratory illness. It is very contagious. Pertussis vaccines are the most effective tool to prevent this illness, but like all vaccines, it is not 100% effective. This means that if whooping cough has been going through the community, there is still a chance that a fully vaccinated person can catch the illness. If a person has been vaccinated, however, the infection is usually not as bad for him or her.

Whooping cough spreads from person to person through coughing, sneezing, or even being in close proximity to someone with the illness. Many people are infected with whooping cough by siblings, parents, or caregivers who do not even know they have the illness. Symptoms of the illness usually begin within five to ten days after being exposed but could take up to three weeks to manifest.

Whooping Cough Symptoms

There are two stages of symptoms for whooping cough: early stage and late stage.

Early stage symptoms

(First 1 to 2 weeks)

  • Runny nose
  • Low-grade fever (generally minimal throughout the course of the disease)
  • Mild, occasional cough
  • Apnea (pause in breathing) in babies

Late stage symptoms

(The traditional symptoms people associate with whooping cough)

  • Fits of many, rapid coughs followed by a high-pitched “whoop” on the inhale
  • Vomiting (throwing up) during or after coughing fits
  • Exhaustion after coughing fits

Pertussis Symptoms for Babies

Symptoms for babies are very different from older children and adults. Babies might not even have a cough or it could be a slight cough. They are also likely to show apnea (a long pause in breathing). This illness is very dangerous for babies. Information about babies who have the illness shows that about 50% of babies under one year need care in the hospital.

What to Do if Seeing Symptoms

If a school age child is showing symptoms, he or she should stay home from school and visit a healthcare provider. You should take your child to a healthcare provider even if he or she has been vaccinated. If your child has whooping cough, he or she will need to stay out of school until all antibiotics have been taken.

If a person in your home has whooping cough, the healthcare provider may recommend that others in the home also take an antibiotic to prevent the spread of the illness.

Pertussis, also known as whooping cough, is a contagious respiratory illness. Be on the watch for symptoms for you and your family and visit a healthcare provider should you think someone may have the illness.

Written by Nicole Peritore, Kentucky Extension Specialist for Family Health. Edited by Lauren State, Oldham County Extension Staff Assistant. Source material from the Centers for Disease Control.

Vegetable Garden Preparation

The following Horticulture article printed in the Spring 2017 edition of the quarterly Oldham County Extension newsletter.

Looking Forward to the Vegetable Garden

Spring is almost here. Take advantage of the last few days of winter to plan your garden. After exploring the seed catalogs and deciding what you want to grow, map out your garden on paper. This is a good way to determine how much seed to order for the vegetables you want to produce. Whether you are growing a new garden or one you have been using for several years, planning will help improve the quality of your harvest this year and future years.

  • Plan your garden on paper before you begin. A map showing where each vegetable is grown allows you to space your plants for good growth. This plan will help determine your crop rotation for following seasons to reduce the carryover of vegetable disease and insect pests in the soil.
  • A good gardening site has full sun for at least eight hours each day and is relatively level, well-drained, and close to a water source. Watch for possible shading as landscape trees mature.
  • Test your soil every two to three years. Prepare the soil properly and add fertilizer and lime or sulfur according to soil test recommendations.

carrot vegetable garden

  • Plan only as large a garden as you can easily maintain. It is easy to overplant and then fail because it is hard to keep up with the tasks required.
  • Grow vegetables that will produce the maximum amount of food in the space available. The bush varieties are best for small spaces and generally yield a lot of vegetables.
  • Plant during the correct season for the crop. Crops are either cool season or warm season types. Choose varieties recommended for your area. Controlling weeds and watering when needed will keep the plants less stressed and improve your production.
  • Harvest vegetables at their proper stage of maturity. Store them promptly and properly if you do not use them immediately.

A well-planned and properly kept garden should produce 600 to 700 pounds of produce per 1,000 square feet and may include many different crops.

ky strawberries

Finally, the closer the vegetable garden is to your back door, the more you will use it. You can see when your crops are at their peaks and can take maximum advantage of their freshness. In addition, keeping up with the planting, weeding, watering, and pest control will be easier.

The 2017 Vegetable Gardening Guides are now available. Contact the Oldham County Cooperative Extension Service office or download the publication “Home Vegetable Gardening in Kentucky” online.

vegetable gardening

Based on article by Richard Durham, Extension Horticulture Specialist, University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service. Edited by Oldham County Horticulture Assistant Michael Boice and Oldham County Staff Assistant Lauren State.