Aging/Gerontology, Health Conditions/Diseases, Social Work/Helping Profession/Mental Health

Promoting Activity, Independence and Stability in Early Dementia (PrAISED) — British Geriatrics Society

Article on dementia research worth looking at….


Professor Rowan H Harwood is a geriatrician at Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust, and the University of Nottingham, with particular interests in delirium, dementia and end of life care, who maintains an active portfolio of research. He tweets @RowanHarwood Can exercise-based therapy prevent or delay disability and dependency in those in the early stages of dementia? […]

via Promoting Activity, Independence and Stability in Early Dementia (PrAISED) — British Geriatrics Society

End-of-Life, Grief/Grieving/Bereavement, Social Work/Helping Profession/Mental Health

How to Make a Difference in Grief and in Times of Joy

Grief Healing Discussion groups: I came across this term on a website I visited and I thought…What a great idea and so needed.

Besides the need for Death Cafe style groups, grief and bereavement groups are also needed. Support groups are very much the same thing, except, the phrase alone indicates to some that they must have support. Many do not like that word. Healing indicates getting better, recovery, peace…

Sharing with others on the same journey, and having feelings validated and understood by others, is key I believe to acceptance. When one faces health concerns, illness or disease or the grief that accompanies loss, we respond well to not being alone. Knowing someone is there to listen, to commiserate with us at times, to keep an open heart and mind is comforting.

I have had many losses in my life from having pets die, to family members dying, to colleagues dying, to clients dying, to children (not my own) dying… can be overwhelming sometimes, but the way I have gotten through all these losses is to focus on the joy and happiness in my life and to be grateful to my family and friends while at the same time allowing myself time to grieve and heal.

But loss goes beyond death; it could be loss of employment, loss of special memories, moving, a child leaves home for university, etc. Any loss can be traumatic and lead to sadness, grief and for some, depression.

I count my blessing every day and have made a switch in my own mind and thought-process to focus on what is important to me. What makes me happy to – ‘How can I make a difference?’

Professionally, I am a case manager with older adults and I love it! I have been with my clients, many of them for 5, 10, 17 years… but while I am still in this role I am branching out to focus on an issue most do not want to bring up, to discuss, to even think about, but in reality the question is why? To be born we must die.

Death, dying, and end of life will happen and we all hope it happens many years from now, but do we really know? Plan for it, discuss it, make your wishes known. I am an organ donor and I have told my fiance this along with my kids. To me, there is no greater mitzvah than to do this, as when I am no longer of this world, my organs can help someone else live…

My next step will be to write up my wishes should I need life support or life-saving measures…in my head, I am still young and have lots of time.  The point is not to wait until I am ill, in crisis or dying as the focus at those times should be on improving my health if ill, spending time with family and friends and get my ‘affairs (paperwork) in order should it be crisis or looming death.

So, I am looking to make an uncomfortable topic comfortable. Whether through death cafe style groups, grief healing groups, through education, training, assisting one with their life memoir or life legacy book-however I can.

Life is about choices and I choose to participate fully while at the same time assisting others.

*And yes, I quilted the square that is the feature image for this post. I also knit, read, cycle, hike, and love nature!

Health Conditions/Diseases, Social Work/Helping Profession/Mental Health

History Repeats Itself: Good & Bad Addictions

History repeats itself, unless we learn from prior experiences. This is true in many aspects of life, and unfortunately it takes a toll on all of us in terms of individual and community well-being and longevity of life.This is evident not only in the wars that are fought around the world, but in our approach to medical care. Knee jerk reactions have no place in medical decision making, and especially not by politicians who choose to ignore the data of scientifically proven treatments.2  This is why I felt compelled to speak out about the recent legislative proposal in Maine to limit treatment options for opiate (Heroin & OxyContin) addiction.

This is also why I wrote the book, Addiction on Trial – to demystify and destigmatize the disease of addiction, but through the back door to reach a wider group of readers. The book is written in a “novel” approach, as a murder mystery/legal thriller based on medical and legal truths – which will entertain, enthrall and educate; and I am appreciative of the 4.9 star Amazon rating. I hope you will enjoy both my Op-ed below as well as my page turning thriller, Addiction on Trial.

Thank you and please spread the word that repeating historical mistakes with politically motivated knee jerk reactions needs to end!

Steven Kassels, MD, has been board certified in emergency medicine and addiction medicine. He serves as medical director of Community Substance Abuse Centers in Lewiston and Portland, and is the author of “Addiction on Trial — Tragedy in Downeast Maine.”

*Re-posted with permission. Original can be found at:

Healthcare, ICU

Never Underestimate the Power of FORCE

Hola a tod@s, my dear friends.

Never underestimate the power of Force, because is very intense in the Hospital.

Hospital Universitario de Torrejón was “invaded” on December 30 by the soldiers of the Empire from Star Wars. A different way of living together Christmas with the “Kings of the Galaxy.’

The event was organized together with the associations AFADACS (Association of families affected by brain damage adquired), ASTOR (Association of parents of persons with Mental retardation) and the Association of Women Ada Byron, with the collaboration of the school of Football of Torrejón.

The event began in the Hall of the hospital with 40 children from ASTOR to that handed out toys and books to continue with a magic performance. Later, members of the associations and those of the Spanish Garrison 501st Legion visited hospitalized children upstairs and were that in emergencies to gave them toys and books.

There are more than a thousand ways to help, to smile and putting diseases aside, even for a while.
And certainly they works.

By Gabi Heras, ICU Physician
*Re-posted with permission; original can be found at: