Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Scotlands Care Home Census 2012

Just published today the Scottish Government's Care Home Census reveals that half of care home residents that's nearly 17,000 of Scotland's population of 84,000 with dementia are being cared for in one of 916 care homes across the country. 50% of these people are admitted to care homes from hospital.
Click HERE to read the census report.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Season Finale of Tuesday Evening Work Parties

Come one, come all!  This coming Tuesday (October 30th) is our final Tuesday evening work party for the season.  We'll be out (most likely getting a bit wet!) from 4 - 6ish at SAGE.  We'll be completing a variety of different tasks to get SAGE all buttoned up for the winter.  To get you in the mood for a work party, I've picked a sampling of photos below from Tuesday work parties throughout this season that highlight the variety of projects we've worked on.  Hope to see you Tuesday!

Cheers,
Deanna (Garden Manager)

PS: For those of you already pondering what do to on Tuesday evenings next season, work parties will resume in late March/early April!
Many early work parties involved spreading at least a bit of
leaf mulch.

Tuesday evening superstar volunteers, Denise and Paige,
planting strawberries.  Planting, whether it was starts or seeds, happened all season long.

Early season harvest of mixed greens

Lark, another repeat volunteer extraordinaire,
doing a late season harvest of delicious Sungold cherry tomatoes.
As the warm weather crops ripened a good portion of work parties
became dedicated to harvesting time consuming items like
cherry tomatoes, green beans and tomatillos.

Just a couple of weeks ago, the warm weather
crops were chopped in, cover crop seed sprinkled and
straw mulch spread to prepare for winter

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

GCU Mental Health Nursing Society

The GCU Mental Health Nursing Society has now set up a Just Giving Fundraising Page to keep track of donations and funds that we raise.  If any students are unable to attend any events that we organise but would still like to donate then here is the way to do it.

http://www.justgiving.com/mentalhealthnursingsociety

Any donation from the public is also welcome - a couple of ££'s here and there makes all the difference.

It also has a small paragraph explaining to everyone that Alzheimer Scotland's football reminiscence hub is our first chosen cause is and why we feel it is worthwhile.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Sharing Our Rain

At the start of the day, all the crops were still in the ground
At the end of the day, all dead plant material cleared out,
cover crop seed spread and mulch on top.
(Note the rubberized rain suits!) 
"This group is full of talkers," an HP employee noted during the snack break of our Friday morning work party.  We had some of our solid HP volunteers who've been coming out all season (Ray, Yvonne, Shawn, Denise), but this particular work party was also full of folks from the HR department.  So yes, this was a more talkative work party than usual.  I'll attribute that to the fact that HR folks work with people and to enjoy working with people generally you have to know how to get along and communicate with them which can lead to chatting!  The reason I'm focusing on this aspect of the group is that on Friday morning it was POURING.  Not just the normal Oregon drizzle, but "get the bright yellow Cap Cod fishermen rubberized rain suits out" type of rain.  When it is those kind of conditions, it is good to be able to talk because it can distract you from the fact that your feet are wet or the uncomfortable feeling of being soaked through to your undergarments....

So that is what Mama Nature provided on the last HP work party of the season.  HP employees have been visiting the garden on a monthly basis since April of this season (they helped out last year too!) and each of the prior work parties was beautiful.  As we cleared and chopped up the beds of Solanaceae crops (tomatoes, eggplants, peppers, tomatillos), the rain softened the ground for us and then helped water the cover crop seeds we planted in the cleared space.  Now my only hope is that the roving packs of ducks haven't eaten all the seed!

Harvesting potatoes!
Thanks HP for committing to scheduling one employee work party a month (and for braving the rain this time around)!   Knowing I can count on your hard work in the garden makes my job easier and the more folks we have to collaborate on this project, the more healthy, local food we can provide to people in
Harvesting the last of the melons
need.  We look forward to seeing HP employees in the garden next season!



Cheers!
Deanna Lloyd
SAGE Garden Manager

Friday, October 19, 2012

Scotland's Mental Health 2012

This report from the Scottish Public Health Observatory provides the second systematic assessment of mental health and its contextual factors for adults in Scotland. It analyses 51 indicators from the previously established national adult mental health indicator set. These cover both the state of mental health (mental wellbeing and mental health problems) and its context (including individual, community and structural factors). Where possible, the report provides an analysis of time trends over the last decade and equalities analysis by age, gender and area-based deprivation.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Football Based Reminiscence with People with Dementia

Back in July I alerted followers about an upcoming free conference from Memories FC.

I can now confirm some details:

Memories F.C. Free Public Knowledge Exchange Conference November 29th & 30th 2012

Day 1: We would like to invite you to our end of project Community Conference at Hampden Park, Glasgow on Thursday 29th November 2012 (9.30-16.30)

http://memoriesfc3.eventbrite.com/ . (This online registration is for Day 1 only. Details of Day 2 are below)

The Scottish Football Reminiscence Partnership Public Conference is an event to share the findings and celebrate the success of the AHRC & SFC funded Knowledge Exchange Project.

"Harnessing the Heritage of Football: Creating Meaningful Activities and Therapeutic Work with People with Dementia."

This novel project has demonstrated the potential of football focussed reminiscence, creatively exploring how a fusion between cultural heritage, scientific insights, design and performing arts can benefit and improve the lives of people with dementia and their family carers.

For Day 1: If you are a practitioner from Health or Social Care who works with people with dementia, an informal or paid carer, a researcher or educator with an interest in dementia care and reminiscence work, this day will be of particular interest to you.

The event will include talks, a Knowledge Exchange Cafe, the premier of "I left my heart" a dramatic piece based on our findings by playwright and broadcaster Padraig Coyle, performed in the Scottish national Football Museum. Other highlights include a demonstration of an interactive prototype digital 'Memory Cube' deigned by collaborators at Northumbria University and Quilting Memories.

Speakers include Mr Henry Simmons , CEO of Alzheimer Scotland; Professor John Starr, from the Scottish Dementia Clinical Research Network -SDCRN; Professor Debbie Tolson, Professor of Gerontological Nursing at Glasgow Caledonian University & Professor Hugh O'Donnell, Glasgow School for Business & Society, Glasgow Caledonian University. 

In addition we expect a representative from the Scottish Government to attend and formally open the Alzheimer’s Scotland Reminiscence Hub at Hampden Park. Our partners in Memories FC (Alzheimer Scotland and the Scottish Football Museum) were successful in obtaining a Postcode Lottery grant to develop this facility at Hampden Park.
We hope that you will be able to attend this day and look forward to sending you the detailed programme as soon as you have registered.

For Day 2: The second day of our public conference will take place on Friday 30th November 2012 (12.30-4.00pm) again at Hampden Park, Glasgow.

This day is for people with memory problems and dementia, family carers and the public who have an interest in reminiscence.

This day will include football memory activities; the premier of "I left my heart" a dramatic piece based on football memories, performed in the Scottish national Football Museum. Other highlights include a demonstration of an interactive prototype digital 'Memory Cube' deigned by collaborators at Northumbria University, the Quilting Memories project.

You will also have the chance to enjoy a tour of the Scottish Football Hall of Fame, The Scottish Football Museum, a Mini Stadium Tour and other exciting activities.
Contact Andy if you wish to attend.
Tel: 0141 331 3103

Check our Facebook site for further details of Day 2 (www.facebook.com/memoriesfc).
  

Memories FC is a partnership between Glasgow Caledonian University, Alzheimer Scotland, The Scottish Football Museum, European Former Players Association and the University of the West of Scotland & St Louis University, USA

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

FAHF-2: The Holy Grail?


So my son had his second peanut challenge yesterday.

It has been a LONG quest. As I mentioned in last week's post, he took somewhere around 4600 pills over the last 6 months. During that time, we had no idea whether what he was taking was placebo or the real medication.

Yesterday, we girded our loins and got in the car before sunrise, knowing that this time it was no rehearsal. Since he had no issues with the applesauce on Thursday, we knew the poisoned apple (sauce) was waiting.

As with previous challenges, there were 11 little applesauce containers lined up on the counter of the exam room. After placing an I.V. line and doing some preliminary vitals, the clinical manager handed him the first container.

For the next two hours, I did my best to either read or pretend to read while other people asked him how he felt. Any change? No change from last time? Do you feel o.k. to go on to the next dose?

He did.

Around Dose 4, everyone started visiting a little more. Dose 4 was where he had started noticing the sensation of throat closing last time around. Dose 5 was where it escalated a little; Dose 6 was where they had called it off. 490mg total peanut protein.

Dose 5 came and went uneventfully. Dose 6. Dose 7.

Around Dose 8, my son finally said "I can tell it has peanut it in. I'm starting to feel something in my throat." When asked what the sensation was on a scale from 1 to 10, he answered "1".

Things moved more slowly then. After Dose 9, the sensation in his throat moved up to a "2". After Dose 10, it became a "6". By this time, he was also a little itchy in his throat and the sensation of constriction was getting more and more pronounced. Finally, he coughed a little and the research staff called it off and gave him an antihistamine.

Unfortunately, the feeling of constriction in his throat continued to climb in intensity, despite the antihistamine. My son was starting to feel a little anxious, although nowhere near as anxious as during the initial fail back in April. However, they pulled out the Epi-Pen. In LESS THAN TWO MINUTES (no kidding!), he went from an "8" to a "2" with regard to throat constriction. Thank God for the wonder drug.

All in all, it was less stressful than the first challenge, even though he got a good bit further. While the clinical director said she couldn't tell me exactly how much peanut he consumed until we complete the next set of challenges in January, she did tell me that the total amount for the trial is 5000 mg of peanut flour, somewhere around 16-17 peanuts. My son completed all but the last dose, so that probably put him in the 4000 mg area.

That's almost eight times the amount of peanut he consumed in April.

13 peanuts.

Think about that. He achieved a better result than most of the oral tolerance trials...without any actual peanut consumption. Best of all, the medication has been reformulated so kids can hopefully achieve the same result without needing to take 30 pills each day.

So...here we are. What I thought might come to pass has come to pass, thanks to the hard work of a lot of good researchers and some really brave kids.

A therapy that mitigates the severity of food allergies has been discovered and tested.

I asked it back in May and I will ask it again now: How much risk are you willing to take? How much discomfort will you tolerate? Can your kid take 10 pills a day? 5 pills? Will you be willing to undergo a food challenge at the end of the therapy to see if it worked? Will you be the first to step up...or the last?

For us, the real excitement is all ahead. While it's very nice to have a larger buffer with regard to peanut, what we really want to know is whether our son can now tolerate more MILK. A tablespoon of peanut butter is great, but a tablespoon of milk would be even better. Unfortunately, we are still supposed to avoid all baked milk introduction or additional food challenges until the study completes in January. However, that's not long to wait to see if perhaps everything is better for him.

All his food allergies getting better — that's the real Holy Grail. Here's hoping I can clink chalices with you sometime next year when we confirm we're already there.

A heartfelt thank you to all the wonderful people at Lurie's Children's Hospital who made this both possible and easy. 

Monday, October 15, 2012

Scottish Women's Aid: New research examines the similarities between domestic abuse and terrorism.

"Everyday Terrorism: How Fear Works in Domestic Abuse", was carried out by Professor Rachel Pain of Durham University's Centre for Social Justice and Community Action, in conjunction with Scottish Women's Aid.
The study, conducted with women and men who had experienced domestic abuse in Scotland, focuses on the fear which domestic abuse instils in the victim, and examines the conditioning which prevents many from feeling able to leave.
Click HERE to read the full report.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

falling into fall


caramelapples1
apples2
caramelapple4
caramelapples3

      I was told one of my aunts used to eat her apples with salt. Weird? Ya I thought so too.  But here with the caramel it works. Who doesn't love salted caramel things at the moment anyway? I figured what better way to start fall while cozying up in comfy sweaters and scarves is make something so in tune for the season and caramel apples is something I've been wanting to make for sometime now.
So here it is. I took the easy route.

salted caramel apples

8 medium size apples
8 sticks washed and dried
1 14 oz (appox 400g) pkg of caramels
2 tbsp water
flaked salt for sprinkling

       Wash apples and insert twigs in each (remove any stems before hand). Have a piece of parchment paper ready on a baking sheet to place apples once they've been dipped.
In a medium size sauce pan on medium to low heat add all the caramels and water and stir constantly.  Once melted and perfect for dipping take off the heat and you're ready to start dipping the apples. Let excess drip off then place on the parchment sheet and store in the fridge for a couple of hours to set.  Then you're ready to eat!

Friday, October 12, 2012

Halfway There...But The Second Half Is All Uphill

Yesterday was our first of two food allergy challenges for FAHF-2.

This is going to be a very quick update because the challenge was completely uneventful. My son had a full work-up in the morning, including cardiac, spirometry and many, many Vacutainer® tubes of blood. I asked if they could share anything about RAST levels, since we've had a blood draw every 6 weeks, but this info is apparently being consolidated at Mt. Sinai and will only be shared after the study completes.

After the work-up, he started on the applesauce. (If you haven't read about the FAHF-2 clinical trial before, here's a link that describes the process in excruciating detail.) By Dose 6 or 7, we were all chatting, reading, working...it was obvious nothing was going to be happening. Placebo.

Early on in the morning, I had asked our study manager what type of results they had seen to date. She said that, of the three kids who had completed the second set of challenges, two were able to achieve a four-fold increase in tolerance. (The third probably had placebo, since it's a 2-to-1 ratio of real medication to placebo in the study.)

She also confirmed that I was close on my estimation of the peanut my son had tolerated at the last set of challenges  490 mg in all, about 1-1/2 to 1-3/4 peanuts. I asked if that was typical for the study and she said he actually reacted sooner than most of the kids  for many of the kids, it took slightly more to set off the reaction. However, my son was a "slow reactor" according to the clinicians, so the time between his doses was increased to half an hour during the first challenges to help ensure he didn't suddenly reach a critical point and have a really bad reaction. Two of the other kids did have bad reactions and her theory was that it may have been related to the dose hitting them all at once.

Here's the bad news: my son's skin tests are actually more reactive now than they were when we started the trial. Does this matter? The trial director shrugged it off, saying that skin tests are notoriously unreliable to start with. However, it made us nervous. Over the last month or so, my son has also noticed a reduced tolerance to "may contain" milk foods that he had previously been eating (with doctor approval) without problem.

Did the medicine actually reduce his tolerance? Has he spent 6 months and taken 4600 pills, only to discover it's actually worsened his allergies?

It's also possible the medicine needs more time to kick in. (And, if we want to be irrationally hopeful, it's possible the applesauce he had yesterday was not placebo and that he's cured. Sure.)

I guess we'll know more after next week. Even if you disagree with me, please think good thoughts for him. He's just a kid and a very courageous one.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Frosting and Field Trips


Warm weather crops "triage" harvested after a light frost
This weekend was a surprise.  I woke up on Saturday morning thinking "Wow, it is cold, I hope it didn't frost!" and then promptly dismissed that thought as the weather report the previous evening said we were in the clear, no frost yet!  Well -- epiphany moment -- sometimes the weather reports are wrong.  Or, to give credit to the weather folks, there are just so many microclimates out there it is really hard to predict exactly what is going to happen where and they do their best to give us an approximate, overarching guess.

Tomatoes galore!

So back to Saturday morning....I pedaled out to SAGE and found a light frost had made our warm weather crops on the lower slope of the garden very sad looking.  Emergency messages went out to colleagues and Amoreena, our Garden Education Food Corps service member, arrived on the scene.  We harvested eggplants, peppers, cucumbers and tomatoes and then placed reemay (or floating row cover) over remaining warm weather crops to protect them until Monday morning when a couple classes of high schoolers were scheduled to come to the garden.


HS students helping fold
up floating row cover that
was protecting peppers

After a lot of hand wringing, worrying about the night time lows over the weekend, Monday morning dawned bright, clear and chilly.  We were happy to see that while some things looked sadder, the emergency measures we'd taken allowed us to have the rest of our warm weather crop plants stripped clean by 80 health students from Crescent Valley High School.  In addition to helping us harvest a lot of healthy, local food for hunger relief agencies, the students were also able to sample different veggies through a fun blindfold taste test relay race and a garden scavenger hunt.  The students are just starting their nutrition unit so the broad focus of this field trip was "real food is good." I'm glad to say that many of the students heartily agreed with that statement as they snacked on sweet Sungold cherry tomatoes, broccoli flowers and green beans.       

Now we're clearing out those beds and planting cover crops with OSU students.... 
High school students heading back to the bus after a fun, sunny morning in the garden

Monday, October 8, 2012

World Mental Health Day 10th October 2012


World Mental Health Day raises public awareness about mental health issues. The day promotes open discussion of mental disorders, and investments in prevention, promotion and treatment services. 

This year the theme for the day is “Depression: A Global Crisis”.
Depression affects more than 350 million people of all ages, in all communities, and is a significant contributor to the global burden of disease. Although there are known effective treatments for depression, access to treatment is a problem in most countries and in some countries fewer than 10% of those who need it receive such treatment.

Link to WHO

Sunday, October 7, 2012

World Alzheimer’s Report 2012

Alzheimer’s Disease International has recently published the World Alzheimer’s Report 2012. The report is titled ‘Overcoming the Stigma of Dementia’. The report is based on a global study of people with Dementia and reveals that 1 in 4 people with Dementia conceal their diagnosis through fear of stigma.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Lennox Castle Exhibition

THE forgotten stories of a historic hospital will be revealed at a new exhibition titled "Lennox Castle Stories" this month at Glasgow’s Trongate 103 venue from October 23-27 as part of the Scottish Mental Health Arts and Film Festival.