caregiver support group

Caregiver Support Groups

Caregivers need a place to share ups and downs. In my caregiving days, I attended many groups sponsored by churches, non-profits, and local service organizations. By far, my favorite are the smaller groups that met in private homes of friends. In just a few hours, I would watch women and men seated on couches and chairs joke around with one another, laugh hilariously and then cry together in a matter of a few hours.

A caregiver support group is the one place in the world where people giving care can feel connected, understood and sustained when sharing their troubles about taking care of spouses, parents, siblings, and children. Always at the end of the meeting, every person would grip the hand of another or give a big hug. The ending mantra is usually, “Hang in there and have a good week. Call if you need anything.” READ MORE

Celebrate Older Americans Month

May is Older Americans Month, a time to honor older adults and celebrate their contributions to our communities and our nation. It’s a yearly event going back to 1963 when President John F. Kennedy designated May as Senior Citizens Month. Later it was renamed Older Americans Month.

Seniors bring much value to local communities through volunteering their time and resources. There are more than 20 million senior volunteers who give nearly 3 billion hours of service annually. That value totals close to $67 billion.

This year’s theme of celebration is “Get into the Act,” to focus on how older adults are taking charge of their health, getting engaged in their communities, and making a positive impact in the lives of others. The Act provides a nationwide aging services network and funding that helps older adults live with dignity in the communities of their choice for as long as possible. These services include home-delivered and congregate meals, caregiver support, community-based assistance, preventive health services, elder abuse prevention, and much more.READ MORE

Doctor with Patient

How to Choose a Primary Care Physician

When selecting a primary care physician or a health care practitioner, it’s important to choose a medical professional who works well with you and your health needs. First decide what type of physician you need. For example, when selecting a doctor do you need one to help manage your overall healthcare and then refer you to a specialist? Or would you prefer choosing a doctor specializing in chronic illness?

After that decision check with your health insurance plan. It may confine your choice, putting limits on a group of plan-approved physicians. Always consider the terms in your plan. And if the doctor that you want does not participate in the program, check your out-of-pocket costs for the visit.

In the U.S., most physicians are board certified. The primary care physicians are board certified in family medicine and only see patients for routine ailments and regular checkups. Specialists see patients who need special procedures like a colonoscopy or help with a chronic condition. READ MORE

Dr. Thomas Quinn Creighton University

Mortui vivos docent (Latin) – The Dead Shall Teach the Living

A rite of passage for all medical students, Corinn Gayer remembers her first day of anatomy lab. “I was finally ready to truly learn about the human body, so I was excited”, she says. In that anatomy lab, Corinn experienced a defining moment in her medical career as she met her very first patient- a recently deceased individual who had graciously donated her body to science. Corinn, now a third year medical student at Kansas City University studying Family Medicine, credits the donor for helping to supply the knowledge that she uses on a daily basis.

The term “donor” is often used rather than “cadaver” when referring to the bodies to reflect the deep level of respect bestowed upon these individuals. Information, such as the donors’ first names or how they died, is often supplied to the medical students. This aids in the first patient approach to working with the donors. Students view the donor as someone’s loved one, not simply an object to study.

According to Dr. Thomas Quinn, Assistant Dean of Medical School Admissions and Professor of Anatomy at Creighton University, the donor’s average age is 80. Students are therefore able to witness a lot of pathology. Active tumors, prosthetics and evidence of past surgeries are often present. READ MORE