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Thursday, March 31, 2011

April is Parkinson's Disease Awareness Month

Social work month is winding down (Happy Social Work Month to everyone!) and tomorrow we will be on to Parkinson's disease awareness month for April.  In honor of PD Awareness Month I thought it would be a good idea for everyone to post the activities and programs you are involved in to help raise awareness about PD.

In April Here at the Parkinson Center of Oregon I am co-facilitating an eight week group for spouses living with someone who has PD called the The Mindset of Healthy Caregiving.  This group has some elements of CBT and is based on the EduPark program out of Europe. This program focuses on skill building to live well with PD (either as the person with PD or as the caregiver).

On April 14th we are putting on our Caregiver Conference, a night set up just for family caregivers of PD.

And finally throughout the month of April and all of spring we will be promoting our PD walk called Paws for a Cause: A benefit for Parkinson's disease, which takes place in July.

It will be a busy month, that is for sure. I am frequently inspired when I learn about the programs other PD Social Workers are involved with at their centers or chapters. I am proud to work with such a great group of  Social Workers and we all do so much to help families throughout the year. Take a moment and let your colleagues know about the great programs you offer at your center or chapter.


Friday, March 18, 2011

Placebo to treat depression?

According to some new research out of Austria, 75% of "healthy" people would be okay with receiving a placebo to treat depression. This whole topic is rife with ethical concerns, but it is interesting that 3 out of 4 people believe that they would be okay with taking a placebo to treat a very serious condition like depression. It also speaks to the power of the placebo effect and some research that calls into question the possibly overestimated efficacy of anti-depressants in treating depression.  Interesting as well, is the fact that the researchers polled "healthy individuals" about this.  These are people who have presumably never been depressed and so I would think are not in a very good position to say they would be okay with receiving a placebo to treat their depression.

Here is a link to the article:  Placebo to treat depression?


Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Advanced Care Planning

British Columbia is putting alot of effort into educating health care workers and the public about the advantagese of advanced care planning. A fantastic workbook has been created to help people have conversations about future health care decisions and to think about choices in care. I would recommend looking at and search "My Voice Workbook".

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

National Sleep Awareness Week

Who knew it was National Sleep Awareness Week?  Who even knew there was a National Sleep Awareness Week?  I know I didn't.

More light is being shed on the importance of sleep and this gentleman from the Harvard Business Review believes that sleep is more important than food.  I know I am one who used to skimp on sleep in favor of other activities, and I was worse for it.  I no longer skimp on sleep (usually), however many of our PD patients and their spouses are not so lucky.

Sleep is More Important than Food


Wednesday, March 2, 2011

HDSA National Convention, 2011

It's a little ways off but never too late to start planning to go if you can make it.  The Huntington's Disease Society of America's yearly national convention is a great event.  If you haven't been to one before I highly recommend that you try to make it.  The convention is attended by many people in the Huntington's community including families and the leading HD experts.  This year's convention is in Minneapolis.  Click the link below for registration and other information.