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PlaneTree's website
September 2013
Savvy Drug Shopping
Which is better?
Hand selecting among drug containers      Consumer Reports recommends the better of two over-the-counter (OTC) products for each of 12 very common conditions, including heartburn, allergy and cold symptoms, PMS, migraine, and chronic pain.

Cut your prescription drug costs
Cash in a pill bottle      Save money with these tips, even if you have insurance. If you are not insured or take multiple medications, the savings could be significant.

Generic vs. brand-name drugs
. .- Are generic prescription drugs inferior?
. .- At the store facing shelves of OTC drugs, do you wonder, "Should I really buy the cheap store brand?"
Woman looking at pill bottles      This article describes how most generic drugs compare to their brand-name counterparts. For a small number of prescription medications, the situation may be more complex.
     His curiosity piqued by the persistent popularity of both generic and brand-name OTCs, a journalist explored what motivates people to choose one over the other.

Managing Your Meds
     The tips in this video (part 1 and part 2) and brochure from the AARP are relevant to adults of any age who wish to use medicines effectively, safely, and economically.
Brown paper sack      The more drugs you take, the greater the risk of drug interactions, incorrect dosing, or side effects. You can guard against these hazards by bringing all medications, including OTCs and supplements, to a doctor or pharmacist for a "brown bag review." Health insurance plans and Medicare often cover these appointments because they are proven to reduce illness and costs.

Choosing a pharmacy
Pharmacy Graphic      Convenience, savings, service, expertise - you want your pharmacy to possess the perfect combination of features. Although perfection may not be possible, understanding how different types of drug stores (independent, chain, big-box, online) tend to excel in different arenas may help you find one with the characteristics most important to you.
For Library Lovers
Graphic of an envelope on a blue
    If you love libraries, you may enjoy the Santa Clara County Library District's e-newsletter. Every month you will learn about child, teen, and adult librarians' favorite books; other resources and activities available through the county's libraries; and - best of all, we think! - books, community resources, and websites recommended by PlaneTree staff and volunteers. The Library District invites you to try a free subscription, regardless of your home library.
News You Can Use 
#*%@!  My leg!
drawing of a lower leg       Learn what to do if leg cramps frequently wake you at night. (Contact us if you want a copy of the cited journal article.)

Assisted Living
     Recent investigations of assisted living facilities by ProPublica and PBS journalists led to a series of articles and a one-hour documentary exposing Elder and aideproblems in care  and oversight. Two companion articles suggest issues consumers should consider when choosing a facility and discuss inspection and regulatory deficiencies.
     Families can find excellent resources on selecting a retirement community, assisted living, or skilled nursing facility; preventing and resolving problems; or making a formal complaint by visiting the California Advocates for Nursing Home Reform (CANHR) website.

Grow Strong Bones - and Keep Them Strong
      If you are the parent of a tween or teen, your child is now developing the bone mass needed for the rest of his or her life. Silhouette of females playing various sports You can help your child make choices that grow strong bones.
     Two keys to maintaining strong bones in adulthood are bone-healthy exercise and good nutrition.
     Brush up on your knowledge of bone nutrition by reading about diet, supplements, and controversies regarding milk. You may also be curious about which foods are rich in bone-promoting nutrients.
In This Issue
For Library Lovers
News You Can Use
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Events & Classes
Showcase of Miniatures
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    The largest and oldest miniature show west of the Mississippi, featuring 14 international and 85 American artisans, will soon be in San Jose. Adding to the fun of this family-friendly event will be workshops and classes for adults and kids, a silent auction, and door prizes.
    Please plan to attend the Showcase of Miniatures on the weekend of October 12-13. This amazing art show is a vital fundraiser for your favorite health library.
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Events & Classes
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    All presentations are open to the public; reservations may be required. *There is a fee for items marked with an asterisk.
Prostate cancer screening
Los Gatos - Thurs., Sept. 5
Sleep and babies
Mountain View - Tues., Sept 10
San Jose - Tues., Sept 10
Prostate cancer treatments
Los Gatos - Thurs., Sept. 12
Mountain View - Thurs., Sept. 26
Managing a chronic disease* (A 6-class series in Spanish begins. Insurance may cover the fee.)
San Jose (Tully Library) - Mon., Sept. 16
Palo Alto - Thurs., Sept. 12
Social boundaries for people with developmental disabilities* (Classes begin for individuals aged 8-13 years and 14+ years)
San Jose - Sun., Sept. 15
Control stress to lower stroke risk
Mountain View - Tues., Sept. 17
Mountain View - Tues., Sept 24
Sunnyvale - Wed., Sept. 25
Palo Alto - Thurs., Sept 26
Mountain View - Thurs., Sept 26
Save the Date!
Santa Clara - Fri., Nov. 8


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