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January 12, 2009

New Year, New You: Grant aims to improve quality of life for NE Louisiana’s elderly population

(Note: This article is the second in a series, “New Year, New You,” aimed at raising awareness of opportunities that could improve the health of residents in northeast Louisiana. An annual report issued in December ranked Louisiana as the unhealthiest state in the nation, citing statistics that 31 percent of its residents were obese, among other key issues.)

Communities Acting to Benefit Louisiana’s Elderly (CABLE) recently awarded Judy Fellows, Ph.D., a $1,500 grant to provide hearing evaluations for senior citizens at the University of Louisiana at Monroe and to purchase portable cholesterol and glucose monitoring equipment.

Fellows, director of research and external funding at ULM’s College of Health Sciences, noted that although no one is immune to the aging process, prevention or early identification of health issues is important for senior adults and can contribute significantly to enjoyment of life.

The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association reports that in the last 30 years the number of Americans with hearing loss has doubled. Contributing factors include aging, noise exposure and disease, according to Fellows, who said funding provided by CABLE will enable the ULM Speech and Hearing Clinic to perform hearing evaluations for the elderly.

Interested persons are encouraged to call 318-342-1395 for more information or to schedule an appointment.

Fellows said the acquisition of portable cholesterol and glucose monitoring equipment will provide faculty and students in the Department of Clinical Laboratory Science with equipment that can be used at health fairs. Physicians encourage people to stay active and maintain an appropriate weight through proper diet to help maintain normal levels of cholesterol and glucose, but impaired mobility or changes in appetite can alter these level

College of Health Sciences Dean Denny Ryman has encouraged health care programs in the college to expand the services they provide to the community.

He said, “By awarding these grant funds, CABLE recognizes the valuable contribution the faculty and students in the College of Health Sciences make in our community. We look forward to a continued relationship with CABLE throughout the years.”

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