All posts by Pat Gustafson


The DELETE key is one of my favorite email buttons. If you don’t know who or what it is, delete it! Keep your personal numbers, (Social Security/Medicare, bank accounts) personal. The delete function on your phone is called “hanging-up!” It’s your phone, and you do not have to listen if it sounds odd.  Will doing all this make it stop? Wish it were so. We’re people, and sometimes we will get fooled. Sharing what we find and letting others know what they can do, however, can make a difference. Be a part of the solution, if you actively do something, it will stop making you feel like a victim and you’ll start feeling like part of the solution. Do something today to stop Medicare fraud. <!–split–>

Change In Medicare Numbers Can Be Jackpot For Scammers!

Congress passed a bill April 2015 to replace the Social Security numbers on Medicare cards with a randomly  selected number. They have four years to set up the system for new cards, and four more years to reissue cards to current Medicare beneficiaries. The bad news is scammers will exploit this information to confuse older adults in an effort to get them to give out their Medicare information over the phone.

The calls will likely sound like this; “Hello, this is Medicare and we have good news for you. We are changing your Medicare number and it will no longer be your Social Security number. This will make you safe from identity theft. But, before we make the switch, we need to verify your current information.” That’s a big RED flag that this is a scam, asking you to verify information. Whenever you get a call or email from someone asking to verify information, especially personal information like Social Security numbers, bank account numbers or credit card numbers, it is a scam. They may have a little information about you, but they need more to complete the picture. The information they are asking from you is the piece of the puzzle they need to complete their file on you; and they will take this information and either steal your identity or bill Medicare for items and services you do not need.

Never give any kind of personal information to anyone who calls you on the phone, no matter how convincing they sound. Remember that Medicare, Social Security and the IRS will never call you on the phone.” Be alert to potential scams. Do not fall for calls, postcards, or emails that offer to help you get your new Medicare card. Contact the Iowa Senior Medicare Patrol (SMP) if you have any questions or if you would like to receive information about how to protect, detect and report fraud and abuse at 1-800-423-2449.

News distributed by Nancy Creery, Iowa Senior Medicare Patrol Program Coordinator, Northeast Iowa Area Agency on Aging (NEI3A), Waterloo, IA, 1-800-423-2449.

Iowa Senior Medicare Patrol (SMP) a project of: Milestones Area Agency on Aging July 2015 Monthly News You Can Use Permission granted to AAAs to reprint these articles with credit given to Iowa SMP.

Your Parish Nurse,  Kara

Guest Speaker – Missionary Sandra Raasch – October 4th

Bethel Wesley will celebrate UMW Sunday on Sunday, October 4th at the 10:30 am service. Guest speaker will be Sandra Raasch, a missionary with the General Board of Global Ministries of the United Methodist Church, serving as Coordinator of Ministries at a Honduras Mission. She was commissioned as a Missionary in 2005, and has served in Honduras since 2011.

October 4th is also World Communion Sunday. Come join everyone for this special Sunday service.

Benefit Bell Concert

River Bend Bronze will present its 3rd Benefit Bell Concert on September 27, 2015 at 3:00 pm in the Sanctuary. Refreshments will be served following the concert. <!–split–>

A free-will offering will be taken for the Learning Center; we are hopeful that THRIVENT will match half of the offering again this year!  If you can’t come but want to make a donation, please see Joyce Hein or place your gift in the offering marked: BELL CONCERT.

The music will include sacred and popular music, and will showcase the many different bells and bell ringing styles – you won’t want to miss this wonderful concert so mark your calendars NOW!

Chancel & Praise Choir

Both choirs start September 9th at 7:00 pm in the Music Room!  Please come if you are at all interested. If you can sing along with the radio, you can sing in one of the choirs! <!–split–>

Please come September 9th if you have any interest at all as I will discuss plans for a music class that I will be offering and a NEW CHOIR that will be forming to bring song to our shut-ins and those in need of uplift through music and song! We are also a multi-generational group … as you may have seen! Bring your kids, bring friends. I want to show off al the talent of Bethel Wesley musicians through the year.  — Michael Callahan, Music Director

New Chairs

The Trustees thank all the people who donated to the chair project. With your generosity, we completed the project in less than 2 months and are enjoying the new chairs already. <!–split–>

We purchased 120 Lifetime Chairs and 3 chair racks. We had purchased 18 chairs earlier this year when 8 Lifetime Tables were purchased. The old Samsonite chairs will be sold. If anyone is interested in them, please let the Trustees know. Thanks again for your generosity in helping us keep God’s house in good shape.   — Trustees Committee

13 Ways the Sun Affects Your Body: The Good & The Bad

The sun can sometimes get a bad rap for only having negative effects on our health, when in fact, it has many positive effects for our overall health. Like many other things, sunshine should be enjoyed in moderation to avoid things like a nasty sunburn or heat rash. <!–split–>

The Good                                                                                                                                                               Enhances Your Mood:  The great thing about sunlight is that it is a free mood enhancer. When the body receives sunlight, the amount of serotonin created in the body increases. Serotonin is the body’s “happy” hormone, as it is essential to mood regulation.  Because of the increase of serotonin, we feel happier!

Treats Seasonal Affective Disorder:  In certain people, the lack of sunlight can trigger Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). This condition is actually a form of depression. SAD generally begins in the fall and continues through the winter. It is possible for Seasonal Affective Disorder to continue through the spring and summer, but it is very rare. Symptoms include feeling depressed, changes in mood, social problems, overeating, lethargy and oversleeping.

Stress Reliever:  Stress is something we all experience, and it is caused by a variety of factors such as family, work and health.  One of the ways that stress can be relieved is through exposure to the sunlight. Serotonin, the “happy” hormone, is triggered by sunlight. Serotonin levels in the brain are higher during the summer, when the days of the year are at their longest.

Improves Sleep:  It may be hard to believe, but sunlight affects our sleeping patterns. Our circadian rhythm is a 24-hour cycle based on light and darkness and influences our sleep-wake cycles. Our brains receive information from the incoming light which helps the brain turn on or turn off our internal clocks. If it’s darker, the brain makes more melatonin, a hormone that makes a person feel drowsy. Likewise, if it’s light out, the brain produces less melatonin.

Vitamin D:  Sunlight’s best known benefit is how it boosts the body’s supply of vitamin D. Most deficiencies of vitamin D can be attributed to the lack of sun exposure. Vitamin D also triggers the absorption of calcium in the bones. However, it is not necessary to tan or get a sunburn in order to receive the proper amount of vitamin D that your body needs.

The Bad

Cataracts:  A cataract is clouding in the eye’s lens that will obscure a person’s vision. Cataracts can form in people who have had prolonged exposure to sunlight. The majority of UV light from the sun enters the eye through its lens. Ultraviolet radiation from the sun can irritate or potentially burn the lens of the eye. You can prevent cataracts by wearing sunglasses while outside. A hat that has a brim can also prevent the ultraviolet light from entering the lens of the eye.

Heat Stroke or Exhaustion:  Heat exhaustion is a mild form of heat illness that develops after several days of exposure to high temperatures and lack of replacement fluids. Heat exhaustion occurs when the body loses too much water and cannot cool itself. Symptoms include:  heavy sweating, fatigue, dizziness, weak pulse, headache.  If heat exhaustion is left untreated, it can lead to heat stroke. Heat stroke is much more dangerous and can be life threatening because the body’s temperature can rise above 104 degrees in a matter of minutes. Symptoms of heat stroke include flushed skin, rapid pulse and dizziness. Heat stroke requires immediate medical attention because if it is left untreated, the heart, muscles, kidneys and even the brain can be damaged.

Sun Burns:  Sunburn is widely recognized as one of the most common negative side effects of too much sun exposure. The symptoms of sunburn do not usually appear until about 4 hours after the sun exposure and they worsen around 24-36 hours after exposure.  Symptoms of sunburn include:  tender skin, headaches, fever, blisters, nausea.  Severe burns, a fever, severe pain or blisters that are filled with fluid as a result from sunburn require immediate attention from a medical professional.

Heat Rash:  A heat rash is a skin rash that occurs when sweat ducts trap perspiration under the skin. Heat rash often takes place during hot, humid weather and takes the form of blisters or red bumps. Adults may develop heat rash in skin folds or where clothing is tight to the skin. In infants, heat rash is normally found on the chest, neck or shoulders.  Heat rash can be treated by staying in a cool environment to prevent sweating and by keeping the affected area of skin dry. Loosening tight clothing can also help relieve the symptoms of heat rash.

Skin Cancer:  Skin cancer is the most prevalent of cancers with 3.5 million cases diagnosed each year. Skin cancer can develop from excessive exposure to the sun, severe sunburns, family history, older age, and other causes. Fortunately, it is unlikely you will develop skin cancer if you avoid long exposure to sunlight, apply sunscreen, and wear protective clothing and sunglasses while spending time outside.

Melanoma:  According to the American Cancer Society, melanoma will account for 73 percent of cases of invasive skin cancers in 2015. Melanoma is one of the most frequently found cancer among 20-35 year-olds and can occur on any part of the skin, including areas that are not exposed to the sun. This form of cancer is more likely to spread to other areas of the body that can be more difficult to treat. This results in melanoma causing the most skin cancer deaths. However, if detected in its early stages, melanoma has a greater chance of being cured.

Wrinkles:  Most wrinkles are due to aging skin, but high UV exposure can cause wrinkles to form by breaking down collagen and fibers in the skin. However, there are many remedies for wrinkles, including refraining from tanning and using moisturizer daily.

Ages Skin:  Skin will naturally age, but sunlight causes the aging process to accelerate. This is known as photo-aging. UV rays damage collagen and increase the production of elastin in the skin. When the elastin attempts to rebuild collagen, the skin is often rebuilt incorrectly, resulting in decreased strength and elasticity of the skin. The skin can also be rebuilt in the form of dark or discolored spots or with a leathery texture.

Tanning Beds Are NOT Better:   A common misconception is that tanning beds are a good source of vitamin D. However, you can get enough vitamin D from food and sun. In the United States, over 419,000 skin cancer cases are attributed to indoor tanning. Furthermore, a study completed in 2012 found a connection between indoor tanning and melanoma and a separate study from 2010 found that the risk of melanoma increased the more time a person spends inside a tanning booth.

Protect Yourself   

Much of the damage to our skin caused by the sun can be prevented. Use sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher. It’s important to apply sunscreen before going outside, and if you plan to stay outside for more than two hours, sunscreen should be re-applied. Another way to protect yourself is to cover up with sunglasses, proper clothing and a hat. If you’re going to be outside for an extended period of time, find a place with shade to protect yourself from the UV rays.

Your Parish Nurse, Kara

Coming in September: “The Call: The Life and Message of the Apostle Paul”

Sunday morning’s, 9-10 am in Wesley Hall. Adults/Youth welcome!

What would lead a 1st century rabbi to travel thousands of miles by sea and by land, to be beaten, imprisoned, and ultimately beheaded for his faith? It was a call – a call to turn the world upside down. This is the story of the Apostle Paul. <!–split–>

Rev. Adam Hamilton will lead us in a study of the Apostle Paul in video messages filmed where Paul’s ministry took him. As we learn about Paul, we will be challenged to respond to our call to follow Jesus and change the world, too!

Steak Supper

Saturday, August 15 – 4:30-6:30 pm – Activity Center

$10 Steak – $7.50 Ground Beef – $4.50 Kid’s Ground Beef

All dinners include: Cole Slaw, Mashed Potatoes/Gravy, Green Beans, Roll, Beverage, Dessert

Tickets available at the door.

Next steak supper:  October 17th


There is a vaccine called Zostavax which can greatly reduce the number of Shingles outbreaks a person would otherwise experience. Shingles is a painful rash consisting of blisters that run along nerve pathways. Each outbreak lasts from 2-4 weeks, and the pain can be quite severe. In some cases, the pain lasts a month or more after the blisters disappear. <!–split–>

Only people who have had chicken pox can get shingles. The virus that causes chicken pox does not go away – instead it hides in nerve cells that are located near the spinal cord. In most people, the virus will simply be dormant (inactive), but as people age and their resistance weakens, the virus can “come to life.” When it does, the virus multiples and damages these nerve cells, and that is what causes the pain. The first symptom a person will usually have is pain, itching, or even a tingling on one side of the body or face. Then the virus travels to the skin causing blisters. To make matters worse, some people progress to post herpetic neuralgia, which is severe, chronic pain that lasts long after the initial outbreak. Post herpetic neuralgia causes a great deal of physical and emotional suffering, because even clothing or a cool breeze touching the area can cause pain.

Major risk factors for developing shingles are advancing age and reduced resistance. Shingles cannot be passed on to another person, but the virus could be spread by direct contact to someone who has never had chicken pox and give them that disease.

Half of all people who reach age 85 will experience shingles. Because people are living longer, there is a need for a vaccine of this kind. This vaccine was only tested on people over 60  years of age, so it is currently not approved for anyone under 60. While it only prevented half the number of expected outbreaks, for those who did have an episode, the pain and general discomfort was reduced by 60%, as compared to the placebo group. The study revealed few serious side effects. The good news is that even a person who has had an episode of shingles can get the vaccine and reap the befits of its protection.

And more good news: the percentage of people who developed post herpetic neuralgia was reduced by two-thirds. The vaccine is not a treatment for anyone with shingles or post herpetic neuralgia, it’s meant as a preventative.

The Merck pharmaceutical company predicts that this vaccine can prevent 250,000 cases of shingles a year, and greatly reduce the severity of the symptoms in another 250,000. In the U.S., there are over 50 million people over 60, and 95% of them had chicken pox as a child. All these people will be at risk for developing shingles! The initial study followed vaccinated people for 4 years, and will continue to follow these patients to determine how long the befits of the vaccine lasts before a booster is needed.

Your Parish Nurse, Kara

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©J. Witucki, RN, BSN 2009