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Garden of Hope

Gardening for older Americans, even those who are ill or have limited mobility, can be enriching both mentally and physically. To help matured adults reap the benefits, Home Instead Senior Care (2909 Division St., Suite A, Metairie, 455-4911; www.homeinstead.com) and television personality Rebecca Kolls, star of the syndicated Rebecca's Garden, are promoting an education campaign to make gardening fun again, especially for the elderly, whether they are tending a flower or vegetable garden outside or a container garden inside.

As part of the campaign, Kolls and Home Instead have produced a four-color gardening guide, Making Gardening Fun Again for Seniors, that has gardening tips and projects seniors can do by themselves or with a caregiver. For a free copy of the guide, call Home Instead Senior Care at 455-4911.

The National Gardening Association reports that 81 percent of households age 55 and over participate in some type of gardening. Kolls says gardens not only supply people with beautiful plants and food, but also bolster people's mental and physical well-being.

Breathe Easier

Registered pharmacist Jo Watkins will discuss new medically advanced lung medications during the Better Breathers Club meeting at 1 p.m. July 16 at St. Tammany Parish Hospital Heart Center (1203 S. Tyler St., Covington). A question-and-answer session will follow to address expensive and ineffective products on the market.

The club is a support group for adults with lung disease and their family and friends who want to live more active lifestyles. For more information call (985) 898-3785.

Inhaled Insulin Studied

Dr. Lawrence Blonde of Ochsner Clinic Foundation recently presented U.S. results from a multinational clinical trial to the Annual Scientific Meeting of the American Association for Clinical Endocrinologists. The trial found that diabetics were more willing to try an inhaled human insulin powder called Exubera, being developed by Pfizer and sanofi-aventis, for glycemic control than traditional therapies.

In the past, studies have shown that many people with diabetes have been hesitant to start insulin regimens and even those who eventually accept insulin therapy delay it for about four years.

Exubera, which currently is pending FDA approval, is a dry powder form of insulin that is inhaled into the lungs before eating. It was studied in 3,500 patients and can be used to help control type 1 and type 2 diabetes.

Northshore Kudos

St. Tammany Parish Hospital (STPH) was among only a dozen hospitals nationally to receive an Insight Award at the 2005 Solucient Client Conference in Orlando, Fla. recently. The award recognizes excellence in performance and improvement in its outreach to the community. The Insight Award follows closely other honors bestowed on the hospital, including a Press Ganey Finalist status and VHA Leadership Award. Last month the Louisiana State Medical Society CME Accreditation Committee selected the hospital as one of the Exemplary CME Programs for 2004.

STPH is a full-service community hospital and acute care facility committed to providing quality health care and the latest technology with emphasis on wellness, preventive care and disease management.

The Mid South Division of the American Cancer Society presented Cheryl Corizzo, director of STPH's Cancer Resource Center, the Health Initiatives Volunteer of the Year Life Saver Award for her efforts to improve services for patients in the Mid South.

Treating Trauma in the Young

Tulane University's pioneering Young Child Trauma Project has received a three-year, $600,000 grant to evaluate the effectiveness of a systematic approach to treating posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in preschool children.

Tulane developed the first manual that outlined a systematic approach to treating very young children who survived life-threatening traumas such as automobile accidents, receiving invasive cancer treatments and witnessing domestic violence. The school has provided free copies of the manual to mental health professionals in 64 sites in the United States, England and New Zealand.

Previously the only manual for treating kids below the age of 6 for PTSD dealt only with sexual trauma. The Tulane manual, based on a two-year study of 62 preschool children who had experienced trauma, uses a cognitive-behavioral therapy program for kids 3 to 6 years old who have suffered a variety of traumas.

The manual recommends training the child in relaxation therapy to handle anxiety and systematically re-exposing the child to memories of the event while desensitizing him or her to the traumatic stimulus by using the relaxation tools.

The Tulane team is now enrolling children 3 to 6 years old to participate in the study. Call 988-1438 for details.

Extra Protection

Ochsner Clinic Foundation's hospital (1514 Jefferson Hwy.) is the first in the area to use new Cardinal Health System software that prevents human error in administering intravenous medication. The infusion safety software offers an automatic safety net for programming of IVs, which are required for almost 90 percent of hospital patients. Under the computer program, when a dosage and medication is entered into the system, it accesses a drug library and compares it against a preset standard of doses. Any deviation from the preset standard will be brought to the attention of the clinician.

click to enlarge A caregiver from Home Instead Senior Care helps a - senior enjoy a hobby of gardening. - HOME INSTEAD SENIOR CARE
  • Home Instead Senior Care
  • A caregiver from Home Instead Senior Care helps a senior enjoy a hobby of gardening.
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