BONNERS FERRY, Idaho – Cedella Richards never imagined herself warehoused in a nursing home. That's what nursing homes are – warehouses for seniors, the Montana woman believed. No way would she go into one voluntarily. But something, maybe her heart, Richards said, malfunctioned while she was visiting her daughter in Bonners Ferry a year ago. Richards was taken to Boundary Community Hospital, then moved down the hospital hallway into the Boundary County Nursing Home.
Teenagers with visions of trouble-making dancing in their heads may have camp in their futures. But the camp Kootenai County child welfare and juvenile justice workers are starting next month isn't punitive. They're starting TEAM Camp to demonstrate to kids considering a dalliance with the dark side that there are better choices.
Life for North Idaho's oldest generation – a rapidly growing population – could improve if health-care providers share patient records through computers and senior centers plan events that draw people of all ages, a group studying senior life in the Panhandle has found. "How do older adults feel about sharing data?" said Bob Salsbury, coordinator of the North Idaho Linkages project. "We're trying to find a way health care and social service people can share information. We feel it's a real need."
North Idaho Linkages is asking Panhandle residents in the 60-plus age group to study the following choices and pick the three most important in each category. Results are due by June 6. Send them to North Idaho Linkages, 1120 Ironwood Drive, Coeur d'Alene, ID 83814-2659. Fax them to 769-1473. Or e-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org. Service choices are:
HAYDEN, Idaho – The explosion of growth in this once-sleepy bedroom community on Coeur d'Alene's northern hemline took another patch of earth on Tuesday. The Panhandle Health District broke ground in Hayden on a 46,000-square-foot, two-story building that will have the look of a new high school. The building will rise on Atlas Road just south of Honeysuckle Avenue and next door to Atlas Elementary School, which will open this fall.
People who cram hours of workouts into full-time work and school schedules comprise the majority of competitors in Coeur d'Alene's Ironman Triathlon, and they deserve more recognition, according to a national sports magazine. "We want to let people know that anyone can do a triathlon, no matter what size or shape you are or who you are. You can do it," said Kyle du Ford, editor-in-chief of Inside Triathlon magazine in Boulder, Colo.
A national Internet list warning of nursing homes that endanger residents contains three of four long-term care centers in Kootenai County, one of two in Bonner County and Boundary County's only facility. The National Nursing Home Watch List at www.memberofthefamily.net contains 30 of Idaho's 82 nursing homes and cites them for poor laundry practices, robbing residents' dignity and failure to prevent bed sores, among other problems.
Gov. Dirk Kempthorne is coming to North Idaho in early June to hear what works with struggling children in the Panhandle. Michelle Britton, director of the state Department of Health and Welfare's North Idaho operations, wants plenty of people to show up at the daylong meeting the governor will hold in Coeur d'Alene on June 6 and share with him the successes they've experienced.
When Jennifer Peterson was released from prison last month, she wanted nothing more than a chance at a fresh start. She had stayed meth-free for 26 months. She wanted a home, job and car before her two daughters moved in with her. What she got was a bed in a shelter, if she wanted it, and nothing more.
An Ironman triathlon was not on Doug Evans' to-do list until his father was diagnosed with stomach cancer last year. Evans and his wife, Amy Evans, have been volunteers at Ironman Coeur d'Alene, a race in late June in which participants swim 2.4 miles in Lake Coeur d'Alene, bike 112 miles, then finish with a 26.2-mile run. Evans knew some athletes raised money for charities with their participation. He decided he could do the same at this year's race to help his dad and other people with cancer.
Rusty Baillie was going to be a challenge, just by his age alone. With his neat white mustache and beard and an accent not quite Australian but not South African, Baillie, 65, could pass for actor Sean Connery. Baillie's active life even suggested a James Bond-like personality, and that's why Gary Bartoo and Jim Kozak suspected some serious corrections lay ahead of them. With age comes physical wear and tear.
Coeur d'Alene area teenagers are tired of moving and changing schools, believe handguns and drugs are easily accessible and want more from schools than assessment tests, a recent survey shows. The survey also indicates that many kids worry about fighting in their families and society's apparent fascination with anti-social behavior.
Coldwater Creek is a business success thanks to women, and the fashion retailer wants to focus its good works in the same direction. The popular clothes company based in Sandpoint became a national sponsor last month of the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure. Coldwater Creek joins American Airlines, Ford Division, Kellogg's, New Balance and Silk Soymilk as the financial backbone of the nationwide road race that raises money for breast cancer education, prevention and research.
Divorce stole Sharon Hayes' perspective, security and status and knocked the formerly middle-income mother of two daughters into the poor zone. That's when Hayes joined the rapidly growing lineup for help at the Community Action Partnership.
Aging means experience, vitality and a new age that people should celebrate and appreciate, speakers at the sixth annual Conference on Aging will tell participants Thursday. The conference will offer wisdom on near-death experiences, depression, the dying process, drug use among the elderly and much more at Red Lion Templin's Hotel on the River in Post Falls. Three speakers and 11 workshops will explore forgiveness, suicide, managing dementia and the many cycles of life.
SANDPOINT – A nearly free clinic that serves Bonner County's uninsured residents will stay open this summer even though a federally funded community health clinic for the uninsured will open in Ponderay. With 27 percent of North Idaho's residents medically uninsured, one clinic can't meet all of Bonner County's health care needs, say advocates for the uninsured.
Construction paper of every color tumbled from inside the manila envelope Ralph Tate found in his mailbox, puzzling the 83-year-old widower. A closer look revealed childlike writing in pencil, cutouts of flowers and butterflies, even a neatly folded piece of paper with the promise of a present inside. As Tate read, his smile grew.
One in four people in North Idaho has no health insurance, and the number is changing the way health care is dispensed throughout the state. Without health insurance, people tend to ignore symptoms until they can't manage without a doctor's help. Many eventually go to emergency rooms at public hospitals that won't turn them away because they can't pay. Patients wait as long as 20 hours for attention in some emergency rooms around the nation, Pulitzer Prize-winning science writer Laurie Garrett told Coeur d'Alene health workers recently.
A federally funded local health clinic with doctors, dentists and mental health counselors will open for Bonner County's thousands of uninsured residents this summer. The operation is an expansion of the Boundary Community Health Clinic, which just received a $650,000 grant from U.S. Health and Human Services to open a Bonner clinic and run it for its first year. The grant is renewable and will supplement fees patients will pay, said Andrew Bolton, director of the Boundary clinic.
Despite a suggested link between immunizations and autism, Idaho's parents are vaccinating their children in record numbers. Eighty-five percent of 2-year-olds in the five northern counties are up-to-date on a series of 15 vaccinations that prevent such maladies as measles, mumps, diphtheria, polio and whooping cough, said Mariva Kammeyer, Panhandle Health District immunization coordinator.
With the Panhandle's percentage of uninsured patients the highest in the state, the Dirne Community Health Clinic is opening its doors to anyone who wants to check it out. The clinic offers health care for people without health insurance, through the help of a federal program. It also offers mental health counseling and is working toward starting dental services.
The escalating cost of health insurance is forcing the Panhandle Health District to lay off workers and cut a program that serves hundreds of senior citizens from the Canadian border to the southern tip of Benewah County. The health district is dropping a program June 30 that enabled senior citizens to stay home even though they may need help cleaning their homes and bathing.
For less than $300 a month, families can rent a brand-new, two-bedroom apartment in Post Falls equipped with a microwave oven, computer connections and a manager to attend to problems around the clock. That's practically a steal in an area where rents and sale prices for housing are rapidly climbing out of reach for the construction workers who build those homes. Rents in Kootenai County now average $650 a month for two-bedroom units and start at about $750 a month for three-bedroom homes or apartments.
Mankind is smart but can't harness nature, which periodically proves its dominance with surprise natural disasters and devastating disease rampages that twist, turn and torture humans to unimaginable degrees. Few, if any, people in the world know more details about nature's secret weapons – AIDS, Ebola, Marburg, hemorrhagic fevers, for example – than Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Laurie Garrett. Garrett has traveled the globe and interviewed infectious disease experts and victims worldwide to understand the magnitude of the threat facing the human race.