Tags >> healthcare
May 18
2010

Parenting Autism

Posted by Bruce Robinson in youth , students , Sonoma County , research , recreation , nonprofit orgs , medicine , lifestyle , jobs , healthcare , Health , families , education , children

Bruce Robinson

The incidence of autism is growing, now around 1 in every 110 births, a burgeoning epidemic that also carries huge consequences for the parents of those children.

Like many children diagnosed with autism, four-year old Peyton Price, shows few outward signs of the condition, which is most often expressed through unusual or unpredictable behaviors and difficulty with verbal communications. (Thanks to his mom, Jill, for sharing this photo.)

The CATS program at SSU offers several direct benefits to parents—trained child care, informational seminars, a directory of resources—but another asset is their opportunities to simply talk with one another, and learn from each other’s experiences. This father, who asked not to be identified, credits another mom with guiding his family into the complex world of specialized services for kids with autism.

With or  without huge medical bills, the demands of caring for a child with autism often require one parent to give up a job or career. And as these children grow older, their aging parents must also reconsider their own plans for retirement, a situation that now confronts Beth Farrar.

The following links offer additional information about autism:

The Autism Society of America

Autism Speaks

The Centers for Disease Control

The National Institute of Neurological  Disorders and Stroke

Autism.Answers.com 

 

 

 

May 06
2010

Hospital Safety

Posted by Bruce Robinson in toxic , speaker , public safety , Petaluma , nonprofit orgs , medicine , healthcare , Health , families , drugs , corporate responsibiliyt , children , author , activism

Bruce Robinson

Even in the controlled environment of a hospital, human error is always a danger, too often a fatal one. That’s what Sorrel King is fighting to reduce.

As the mother of four young children, Sorell King was involved in every step of her daugther’s care when 18-month old  Josie was badly burned by a faulty water heater. Even that wasn’t enough to prevent the breakdown in communications that resulted in a fatal dose of methadone, the tragic mistake that abruptly turned King into a determined advocate for increased patient safety and better hospital procedures. It’s that painful personal experience, she says, that makes the medical personnel hear what she has to say.

King has documented her own first-hand experience with this wrenching issue in her book, the autobiographical Josie’s Story, which in turn led to the creation of the Josie King Foundation, through which she pursues her advocacy work. It’s a role she hopes to be able to pull back from sometime, but that day doesn’t appear to be coming any time soon.

Sorrel King believes that the number of near misses, when potentially fatal mistakes are caught just in time, or corrected before they have tragic consequences, is far higher than the actual number of deaths that occur. So she pushing hospitals to adopt procedures to report and track those near misses, too.

The seventh annual Gene and Evelyn Benedetti Leadership Award celebrationn honors Nancy Corda (right)  at  6 p.m. on Friday May 7 at the Sheraton Petaluma. Proceeds will be used to purchase a mobile ultrasound machine for Petaluma Valley Hospital. Information: 778-2796.

 

Mar 23
2010

Alzheimer's Disease

Posted by Bruce Robinson in speaker , seniors , planning , medicine , lifestyle , healthcare , Health , families , aging

Bruce Robinson

Alzheimer’s disease, a severe form of progressive dementia, casts a long and fearful shadow on the baby boom generation, but lifestyle changes and advance planning can delay and even diminish its impacts.

A certified Occupational Therapist, Teepa Snow  is a dementia expert who trains and consults for healthcare professionals and families privately. She explains that  while Alzheimer’s is the most widely recognized form of dementia, it is just one of the many forms that condition may take. Here, Snow  (left) describes a few of the others.

Simple forgetfulness is a common trait for most adults, but the early signs of Alzheimer’s are significantly more acute. Here, Teepa Snow breaks down the difference.

The diagram below illustrates the physiological changes that characterize Alzherimer's disease.

Mar 10
2010

"Sick and Tired"

Posted by Bruce Robinson in politics , policy , medicine , legislation , journalism , healthcare , Health , government , finances , economy , drugs , corporate responsibiliyt , Congress , business , author

Bruce Robinson

Economist Helene Jorgensen thought she had good health insurance, until she got really sick. Having survived both her illness and her direct dealings with hospitals, laboratories and insurance companies, she has written a bluntly critical account of her experiences, both economic and medical, titled Sick and Tired.

In her analysis of the American employer-based heath insurance model, which Jorgensen describes its development as a fluke of history.

That, in turn, fostered the development of the current “fee for service” medical system, which Jorgensen sees as vulnerable to corruption, and horribly wasteful.

Coming from a European perspective, the Danish economist shares in the general distain for a health care system that excludes millions of citizens. But she says the reform measures most widely under discussion in Washington would do little to fix a deeply flawed system.

 

 

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