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The Development of Old Age and Related Issues

April 18, 2016 by · Comments Off on The Development of Old Age and Related Issues
Filed under: General 

In traditional Chinese and other Asian cultures the aged were highly respected and cared for. The Igabo tribesmen of Eastern Nigeria value dependency in their aged and involve them in care of children and the administration of tribal affairs (Shelton, A. in Kalish R. Uni Michigan 1969).

In Eskimo culture the grandmother was pushed out into the ice-flow to die as soon as she became useless.

Western societies today usually resemble to some degree the Eskimo culture, only the “ice-flows” have names such a “Sunset Vista” and the like. Younger generations no longer assign status to the aged and their abandonment is always in danger of becoming the social norm.

There has been a tendency to remove the aged from their homes and put them  in custodial care. To some degree the government provides domiciliary care services to prevent or delay this, but the motivation probably has more to do with expense than humanity.

In Canada and some parts of the USA old people are being utilised as foster-grandparents in child care agencies.

SOME BASIC DEFINITIONS

What is Aging?

Aging: Aging is a natural phenomenon that refers to changes occurring throughout the life span and result in differences in structure and function between the youthful and elder generation.

Gerontology: Gerontology is the study of aging and includes science, psychology and sociology.

Geriatrics: A relatively new field of medicine specialising in the health problems of advanced age.

Social aging: Refers to the social habits and roles of individuals with respect to their culture and society. As social aging increases individual usually experience a decrease in meaningful social interactions.

Biological aging: Refers to the physical changes in the body systems during the later decades of life. It may begin long before the individual  reaches chronological age 65.

Cognitive aging: Refers to decreasing ability to assimilate new information and learn new behaviours and skills.

GENERAL PROBLEMS OF AGING

Eric Erikson (Youth and the life cycle. Children. 7:43-49 Mch/April 1960) developed an “ages and stages” theory of human development that involved 8 stages after birth each of which involved a basic dichotomy representing best case and worst case outcomes. Below are the dichotomies and their developmental relevance:

Prenatal stage – conception to birth.

  1. Infancy. Birth to 2 years – basic trust vs. basic distrust. Hope.
  2. Early childhood, 3 to 4 years – autonomy vs. self doubt/shame. Will.
  3. Play age, 5 to 8 years – initiative vs. guilt. Purpose.
  4. School age, 9to 12 – industry vs. inferiority. Competence.
  5. Adolescence, 13 to 19 – identity vs. identity confusion. Fidelity.
  6. Young adulthood – intimacy vs. isolation. Love.
  7. Adulthood, generativity vs. self absorption. Care.
  8. Mature age- Ego Integrity vs. Despair. Wisdom.

This stage of older adulthood, i.e. stage 8, begins about the time of retirement and continues throughout one’s life. Achieving ego integrity  is a sign of maturity while failing to reach this stage is an indication of poor development in prior stages through the life course.

Ego integrity: This means coming to accept one’s whole life and reflecting on it in a positive manner. According to Erikson, achieving integrity means fully accepting one’ self and coming to terms with death. Accepting responsibility for one’s life and being able to review the past with satisfaction is essential. The inability to do this leads to despair and the individual will begin to fear death. If a favourable balance is achieved during this stage, then wisdom is developed.

Psychological and personality aspects:

Aging has psychological implications. Next to dying our recognition that we are aging may be one of the most profound shocks we ever receive. Once we pass the invisible line of 65 our years are bench marked for the remainder of the game of life. We are no longer “mature age” we are instead classified as “old”, or “senior citizens”. How we cope with the changes we face and stresses of altered status depends on our basic personality. Here are 3 basic personality types that have been identified. It may be a oversimplification but it makes the point about personality effectively:

a. The autonomous – people who seem to have the resources for self-renewal. They may be dedicated to a goal or idea and committed to continuing productivity. This appears to protect them somewhat even against physiological aging.

b.The adjusted – people who are rigid and lacking in adaptability but are supported by their power, prestige or well structured routine. But if their situation changes drastically they become psychiatric casualties.

c.The anomic. These are people who do not have clear inner values or a protective life vision. Such people have been described as prematurely resigned and they may deteriorate rapidly.

Summary of stresses of old age.

a. Retirement and reduced income. Most people rely on work for self worth, identity and social interaction. Forced retirement can be demoralising.

b. Fear of invalidism and death. The increased probability of falling prey to illness from which there is no recovery is a continual source of anxiety. When one has a heart attack or stroke the stress becomes much worse.

Some persons face death with equanimity, often psychologically supported by a religion or philosophy. Others may welcome death as an end to suffering or insoluble problems and with little concern for life or human existence. Still others face impending death with suffering of great stress against which they have no ego defenses.

c. Isolation and loneliness. Older people face inevitable loss of loved ones, friends and contemporaries. The loss of a spouse whom one has depended on for companionship and moral support is particularly distressing. Children grow up, marry and become preoccupied or move away. Failing memory, visual and aural impairment may all work to make social interaction difficult. And if this then leads to a souring of outlook and rigidity of attitude then social interaction becomes further lessened and the individual may not even utilise the avenues for social activity that are still available.

d. Reduction in sexual function and physical attractiveness. Kinsey et al, in their Sexual behaviour in the human male, (Phil., Saunders, 1948) found that there is a gradual decrease in sexual activity with advancing age and that reasonably gratifying patterns of sexual activity can continue into extreme old age. The aging person also has to adapt to loss of sexual attractiveness in a society which puts extreme emphasis on sexual attractiveness. The adjustment in self image and self concept that are required can be very hard to make.

e. Forces tending to self devaluation. Often the experience of the older generation has little perceived relevance to the problems of the young and the older person becomes deprived of participation in decision making both in occupational and family settings. Many parents are seen as unwanted burdens and their children may secretly wish they would die so they can be free of the burden and experience some financial relief or benefit. Senior citizens may be pushed into the role of being an old person with all this implies in terms of self devaluation.

4 Major Categories of Problems or Needs:

Health.

Housing.

Income maintenance.

Interpersonal relations.

BIOLOGICAL CHANGES

Physiological Changes: Catabolism (the breakdown of protoplasm) overtakes anabolism (the build-up of protoplasm). All body systems are affected and repair systems become slowed. The aging process occurs at different rates in different individuals.

Physical appearance and other changes:

Loss of subcutaneous fat and less elastic skin gives rise to wrinkled appearance, sagging and loss of smoothness of body contours. Joints stiffen and become painful and range of joint movement becomes restricted, general mobility lessened.

Respiratory changes:

Increase of fibrous tissue in chest walls and lungs leads restricts respiratory movement and less oxygen is consumed. Older people more likelyto have lower respiratory infections whereas young people have upper respiratory infections.

Nutritive changes:

Tooth decay and loss of teeth can detract from ease and enjoyment in eating. Atrophy of the taste buds means food is inclined to be tasteless and this should be taken into account by carers. Digestive changes occur from lack of exercise (stimulating intestines) and decrease in digestive juice production. Constipation and indigestion are likely to follow as a result. Financial problems can lead to the elderly eating an excess of cheap carbohydrates rather than the more expensive protein and vegetable foods and this exacerbates the problem, leading to reduced vitamin intake and such problems as anemia and increased susceptibility to infection.

Adaptation to stress:

All of us face stress at all ages. Adaptation to stress requires the consumption of energy. The 3 main phases of stress are:

1. Initial alarm reaction. 2. Resistance. 3. Exhaustion

and if stress continues tissue damage or aging occurs. Older persons have had a lifetime of dealing with stresses. Energy reserves are depleted and the older person succumbs to stress earlier than the younger person. Stress is cumulative over a lifetime. Research results, including experiments with animals suggests that each stress leaves us more vulnerable to the next and that although we might think we’ve “bounced back” 100% in fact each stress leaves it scar. Further, stress is psycho-biological meaning the kind of stress is irrelevant. A physical stress may leave one more vulnerable to psychological stress and vice versa. Rest does not completely restore one after a stressor. Care workers need to be mindful of this and cognizant of the kinds of things that can produce stress for aged persons.

COGNITIVE CHANGE Habitual Behaviour:

Sigmund Freud noted that after the age of 50, treatment of neuroses via psychoanalysis was difficult because the opinions and reactions of older people were relatively fixed and hard to shift.

Over-learned behaviour: This is behaviour that has been learned so well and repeated so often that it has become automatic, like for example typing or running down stairs. Over-learned behaviour is hard to change. If one has lived a long time one is likely to have fixed opinions and ritualised behaviour patterns or habits.

Compulsive behaviour: Habits and attitudes that have been learned in the course of finding ways to overcome frustration and difficulty are very hard to break. Tension reducing habits such as nail biting, incessant humming, smoking or drinking alcohol are especially hard to change at any age and particularly hard for persons who have been practising them over a life time.

The psychology of over-learned and compulsive behaviours has severe implications for older persons who find they have to live in what for them is a new and alien environment with new rules and power relations.

Information acquisition:

Older people have a continual background of neural noise making it more difficult for them to sort out and interpret complex sensory input. In talking to an older person one should turn off the TV, eliminate as many noises and distractions as possible, talk slowly and relate to one message or idea at a time.

Memories from the distant past are stronger than more recent memories. New memories are the first to fade and last to return.

Time patterns also can get mixed – old and new may get mixed.

Intelligence.

Intelligence reaches a peak and can stay high with little deterioration if there is no neurological damage. People who have unusually high intelligence to begin with seem to suffer the least decline. Education and stimulation also seem to play a role in maintaining intelligence.

Intellectual impairment. Two diseases of old age causing cognitive decline are Alzheimer’s syndrome and Pick’s syndrome. In Pick’s syndrome there is inability to concentrate and learn and also affective responses are impaired.

Degenerative Diseases: Slow progressive physical degeneration of cells in the nervous system. Genetics appear to be an important factor. Usually start after age 40 (but can occur as early as 20s).

ALZHEIMER’S DISEASE Degeneration of all areas of cortex but particularly frontal and temporal lobes. The affected cells actually die. Early symptoms resemble neurotic disorders: Anxiety, depression, restlessness sleep difficulties.

Progressive deterioration of all intellectual faculties (memory deficiency being the most well known and obvious). Total mass of the brain decreases, ventricles become larger. No established treatment.

PICK’S DISEASE Rare degenerative disease. Similar to Alzheimer’s in terms of onset, symptomatology and possible genetic aetiology. However it affects circumscribed areas of the brain, particularly the frontal areas which leads to a loss of normal affect.

PARKINSON’S DISEASE Neuropathology: Loss of neurons in the basal ganglia.

Symptoms: Movement abnormalities: rhythmical alternating tremor of extremities, eyelids and tongue along with rigidity of the muscles and slowness of movement (akinesia).

It was once thought that Parkinson’s disease was not associated with intellectual deterioration, but it is now known that there is an association between global intellectual impairment and Parkinson’s where it occurs late in life.

The cells lost in Parkinson’s are associated with the neuro-chemical Dopamine and the motor symptoms of Parkinson’s are associated the dopamine deficiency. Treatment involves administration of dopamine precursor L-dopa which can alleviate symptoms including intellectual impairment. Research suggests it may possibly bring to the fore emotional effects in patients who have had psychiatric illness at some prior stage in their lives.

AFFECTIVE DOMAIN In old age our self concept gets its final revision. We make a final assessment of the value of our lives and our balance of success and failures.

How well a person adapts to old age may be predicated by how well the person adapted to earlier significant changes. If the person suffered an emotional crisis each time a significant change was needed then adaptation to the exigencies of old age may also be difficult. Factors such as economic security, geographic location and physical health are important to the adaptive process.

Need Fulfilment: For all of us, according to Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs theory, we are not free to pursue the higher needs of self actualisation unless the basic needs are secured. When one considers that many, perhaps most, old people are living in poverty and continually concerned with basic survival needs, they are not likely to be happily satisfying needs related to prestige, achievement and beauty.

Maslow’s Hierarchy

Physiological

Safety

Belonging, love, identification

Esteem: Achievement, prestige, success, self respect

Self actualisation: Expressing one’s interests and talents to the full.

Note: Old people who have secured their basic needs may be motivated to work on tasks of the highest levels in the hierarchy – activities concerned with aesthetics, creativity and altruistic matters, as compensation for loss of sexual attractiveness and athleticism. Aged care workers fixated on getting old people to focus on social activities may only succeed in frustrating and irritating them if their basic survival concerns are not secured to their satisfaction.

DISENGAGEMENT

Social aging according to Cumming, E. and Henry, W. (Growing old: the aging process of disengagement, NY, Basic 1961) follows a well defined pattern:

  1. Change in role. Change in occupation and productivity. Possibly change in attitude to work.
  2. Loss of role, e.g. retirement or death of a husband.
  3. Reduced social interaction. With loss of role social interactions are diminished, eccentric adjustment can further reduce social interaction, damage to self concept, depression.
  4. Awareness of scarcity of remaining time. This produces further curtailment of activity in interest of saving time.

Havighurst, R. et al (in B. Neugarten (ed.) Middle age and aging, U. of Chicago, 1968) and others have suggested that disengagement is not an inevitable process. They believe the needs of the old are essentially the same as in middle age and the activities of middle age should be extended as long as possible. Havighurst points out the decrease in social interaction of the aged is often largely the result of society withdrawing from the individual as much as the reverse. To combat this he believes the individual must vigorously resist the limitations of his social world.

DEATH The fear of the dead amongst tribal societies is well established. Persons who had ministered to the dead were taboo and required observe various rituals including seclusion for varying periods of time. In some societies from South America to Australia it is taboo for certain persons to utter the name of the dead. Widows and widowers are expected to observe rituals in respect for the dead.

Widows in the Highlands of New Guinea around Goroka chop of one of their own fingers. The dead continue their existence as spirits and upsetting them can bring dire consequences.

Wahl, C in “The fear of death”, 1959 noted that the fear of death occurs as early as the 3rd year of life. When a child loses a pet or grandparent fears reside in the unspoken questions: Did I cause it? Will happen to you (parent) soon? Will this happen to me? The child in such situations needs to re-assure that the departure is not a censure, and that the parent is not likely to depart soon. Love, grief, guilt, anger are a mix of conflicting emotions that are experienced.

CONTEMPORARY ATTITUDES TO DEATH

Our culture places high value on youth, beauty, high status occupations, social class and anticipated future activities and achievement. Aging and dying are denied and avoided in this system. The death of each person reminds us of our own mortality.

The death of the elderly is less disturbing to members of Western society because the aged are not especially valued. Surveys have established that nurses for example attach more importance to saving a young life than an old life. In Western society there is a pattern of avoiding dealing with the aged and dying aged patient.

Stages of dying. Elisabeth Kubler Ross has specialised in working with dying patients and in her “On death and dying”, NY, Macmillan, 1969, summarised 5 stages in dying.

  1. Denial and isolation. “No, not me”.
  2. Anger. “I’ve lived a good life so why me?”
  3. Bargaining. Secret deals are struck with God. “If I can live until…I promise to…”
  4. Depression. (In general the greatest psychological problem of the aged is depression). Depression results from real and threatened loss.
  5. Acceptance of the inevitable.

Kubler Ross’s typology as set out above should, I believe be taken with a grain of salt and not slavishly accepted. Celebrated US Journalist David Rieff who was in June ’08 a guest of the Sydney writer’s festival in relation to his book, “Swimming in a sea of death: a son’s memoir” (Melbourne University Press) expressly denied the validity of the Kubler Ross typology in his Late Night Live interview (Australian ABC radio) with Philip Adams June 9th ’08. He said something to the effect that his mother had regarded her impending death as murder. My own experience with dying persons suggests that the human ego is extraordinarily resilient. I recall visiting a dying colleague in hospital just days before his death. He said, “I’m dying, I don’t like it but there’s nothing I can do about it”, and then went on to chortle about how senior academics at an Adelaide university had told him they were submitting his name for a the Order of Australia (the new “Knighthood” replacement in Australia). Falling in and out of lucid thought with an oxygen tube in his nostrils he was nevertheless still highly interested in the “vain glories of the world”. This observation to me seemed consistent with Rieff’s negative assessment of Kubler Ross’s theories.

THE AGED IN RELATION TO YOUNGER PEOPLE

The aged share with the young the same needs: However, the aged often have fewer or weaker resources to meet those needs. Their need for social interaction may be ignored by family and care workers.

Family should make time to visit their aged members and invite them to their homes. The aged like to visit children and relate to them through games and stories.

Meaningful relationships can be developed via foster-grandparent programs. Some aged are not aware of their income and health entitlements. Family and friends should take the time to explain these. Some aged are too proud to access their entitlements and this problem should be addressed in a kindly way where it occurs.

It is best that the aged be allowed as much choice as possible in matters related to living arrangements, social life and lifestyle.

Communities serving the aged need to provide for the aged via such things as lower curbing, and ramps.

Carers need to examine their own attitude to aging and dying. Denial in the carer is detected by the aged person and it can inhibit the aged person from expressing negative feelings – fear, anger. If the person can express these feelings to someone then that person is less likely to die with a sense of isolation and bitterness.

A METAPHYSICAL PERSPECTIVE

The following notes are my interpretation of a Dr. Depak Chopra lecture entitled, “The New Physics of Healing” which he presented to the 13th Scientific Conference of the American Holistic Medical Association. Dr. Depak Chopra is an endocrinologist and a former Chief of Staff of New England Hospital, Massachusetts. I am deliberately omitting the detail of his explanations of the more abstract, ephemeral and controversial ideas.

Original material from 735 Walnut Street, Boulder, Colorado 83002,

Phone. +303 449 6229.

In the lecture Dr. Chopra presents a model of the universe and of all organisms as structures of interacting centres of electromagnetic energy linked to each other in such a way that anything affecting one part of a system or structure has ramifications throughout the entire structure. This model becomes an analogue not only for what happens within the structure or organism itself, but between the organism and both its physical and social environments. In other words there is a correlation between psychological conditions, health and the aging process. Dr. Chopra in his lecture reconciles ancient Vedic (Hindu) philosophy with modern psychology and quantum physics.

Premature Precognitive Commitment: Dr. Chopra invokes experiments that have shown that flies kept for a long time in a jar do not quickly leave the jar when the top is taken off. Instead they accept the jar as the limit of their universe. He also points out that in India baby elephants are often kept tethered to a small twig or sapling. In adulthood when the elephant is capable of pulling over a medium sized tree it can still be successfully tethered to a twig! As another example he points to experiments in which fish are bred on

2 sides of a fish tank containing a divider between the 2 sides. When the divider is removed the fish are slow to learn that they can now swim throughout the whole tank but rather stay in the section that they accept as their universe. Other experiments have demonstrated that kittens brought up in an environment of vertical stripes and structures, when released in adulthood keep bumping into anything aligned horizontally as if they were unable to see anything that is horizontal. Conversely kittens brought up in an environment of horizontal stripes when released bump into vertical structures, apparently unable to see them.

The whole point of the above experiments is that they demonstrate Premature Precognitive Commitment. The lesson to be learned is that our sensory apparatus develops as a result of initial experience and how we’ve been taught to interpret it.

What is the real look of the world? It doesn’t exist. The way the world looks to us is determined by the sensory receptors we have and our interpretation of that look is determined by our premature precognitive commitments. Dr Chopra makes the point that less than a billionth of the available stimuli make it into our nervous systems. Most of it is screened, and what gets through to us is whatever we are expecting to find on the basis of our precognitive commitments.

Dr. Chopra also discusses the diseases that are actually caused by mainstream medical interventions, but this material gets too far away from my central intention. Dr. Chopra discusses in lay terms the physics of matter, energy and time by way of establishing the wider context of our existence. He makes the point that our bodies including the bodies of plants are mirrors of cosmic rhythms and exhibit changes correlating even with the tides.

Dr. Chopra cites the experiments of Dr. Herbert Spencer of the US National Institute of Health. He injected mice with Poly-IC, an immuno-stimulant while making the mice repeatedly smell camphor. After the effect of the Poly-IC had worn off he again exposed the mice to the camphor smell. The smell of camphor had the effect of causing the mice’s immune system to automatically strengthen as if they had been injected with the stimulant. He then took another batch of mice and injected them with cyclophosphamide which tends to destroy the immune system while exposing them to the smell of camphor. Later after being returned to normal just the smell of camphor was enough to cause destruction of their immune system. Dr. Chopra points out that whether or not camphor enhanced or destroyed the mice’s immune system was entirely determined by an interpretation of the meaning of the smell of camphor. The interpretation is not just in the brain but in each cell of the organism. We are bound to our imagination and our early experiences.

Chopra cites a study by the Massachusetts Dept of Health Education and Welfare into risk factors for heart disease – family history, cholesterol etc. The 2 most important risk factors were found to be psychological measures – Self  Happiness Rating and Job Satisfaction. They found most people died of heart disease on a Monday!

Chopra says that for every feeling there is a molecule. If you are experiencing tranquillity your body will be producing natural valium. Chemical changes in the brain are reflected by changes in other cells including blood cells. The brain produces neuropeptides and brain structures are chemically tuned to these neuropeptide receptors. Neuropeptides (neurotransmitters) are the chemical concommitants of thought. Chopra points out the white blood cells (a part of the immune system) have neuropeptide receptors and are “eavesdropping” on our thinking. Conversely the immune system produces its own neuropeptides which can influence the nervous system. He goes on to say that cells in all parts of the body including heart and kidneys for example also produce neuropeptides and neuropeptide sensitivity. Chopra assures us that most neurologists would agree that the nervous system and the immune system are parallel systems.

Other studies in physiology: The blood interlukin-2 levels of medical students decreased as exam time neared and their interlukin receptor capacities also lowered. Chopra says if we are having fun to the point of exhilaration our natural interlukin-2 levels become higher. Interlukin-2 is a powerful and very expensive anti-cancer drug. The body is a printout of consciousness. If we could change the way we look at our bodies at a genuine, profound level then our bodies would actually change.

On the subject of “time” Chopra cites Sir Thomas Gall and Steven Hawkins, stating that our description of the universe as having a past, present, and future are constructed entirely out of our interpretation of change. But in reality linear time doesn’t exist.

Chopra explains the work of Alexander Leaf a former Harvard Professor of Preventative Medicine who toured the world investigating societies where people  lived beyond 100 years (these included parts of Afghanistan, Soviet Georgia, Southern Andes). He looked at possible factors including climate, genetics, and diet. Leaf concluded the most important factor was the collective perception of aging in these societies.

Amongst the Tama Humara of the Southern Andes there was a collective belief that the older you got the more physically able you got. They had a tradition of running and the older one became then generally the better at running one got. The best runner was aged 60. Lung capacity and other measures actually improved with age. People were healthy until well into their 100s and died in their sleep. Chopra remarks that things have changed since the introduction of Budweiser (beer) and TV.

[DISCUSSION: How might TV be a factor in changing the former ideal state of things?]

Chopra refers to Dr. Ellen Langor a former Harvard Psychology professor’s work. Langor advertised for 100 volunteers aged over 70 years. She took them to a Monastery outside Boston to play “Let’s Pretend”. They were divided into 2 groups each of which resided in a different part of the building. One group, the control group spent several days talking about the 1950s. The other group, the experimental group had to live as if in the year 1959 and talk about it in the present tense. What appeared on their TV screens were the old newscasts and movies. They read old newspapers and magazines of the period. After 3 days everyone was photographed and the photographs judged by independent judges who knew nothing of the nature of the experiment. The experimental group seemed to have gotten younger in appearance. Langor then arranged for them to be tested for 100 physiological parameters of aging which included of course blood pressure, near point vision and DHEA levels. After 10 days of living as if in 1959 all parameters had reversed by the equivalent of at least 20 years.

Chopra concludes from Langor’s experiment: “We are the metabolic end product of our sensory experiences. How we interpret them depends on the collective mindset which influences individual biological entropy and aging.”

Can one escape the current collective mindset and reap the benefits in longevity and health? Langor says, society won’t let you escape. There are too many reminders of how most people think linear time is and how it expresses itself in entropy and aging – men are naughty at 40 and on social welfare at 55, women reach menopause at 40 etc. We get to see so many other people aging and dying that it sets the pattern that we follow.

Chopra concludes we are the metabolic product of our sensory experience and our interpretation gets structured in our biology itself. Real change comes from change in the collective consciousness – otherwise it cannot occur within the individual.

Readings

Chopra, D. The New Physics of Healing. 735 Walnut Street, Boulder, Colorado 83002,

Phone. +303 449 6229.

Coleman, J. C. Abnormal psychology and modern life. Scott Foresman & Co.

Lugo, J. and Hershey, L. Human development a multidisciplinary approach to the psychology of individual growth, NY, Macmillan.

Dennis. Psychology of human behaviour for nurses. Lond. W. B.Saunders.

[http://www.psychologynatural.com/DepressionBroch.html]

Dr. Victor Barnes is an Adelaide psychologist and hypnotherapist. He has also had three decades of experience in adult education including serving as Dean of a Sri Lankan college (ICBT) teaching several Australian degrees. His overseas experience includes studies and consulting experience in USA, PNG, Poland and Sri Lanka.

Drug interactions causing a significant impact on statin use

November 29, 2013 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Articles 

A new study has found that many people who stopped taking cholesterol-lowering statin drugs were also taking an average of three other drugs that interfered with the normal metabolism of the statins.

The other drugs can contribute to a common side effect of taking statins – muscle pain – and often led people to discontinue use of a medication that could otherwise help save their life, researchers learned.

The interactions of many drugs with statins have been known of for some time, researchers said, but are not being adequately managed by physicians and pharmacists, who could often choose different medications or adjust dosages to retain the value of statin drugs without causing this side effect.

The research, done as part of a survey of more than 10,000 current and former statin users, found that use of medications which interfere with statin metabolism almost doubles the chance that a person will discontinue statin use due to muscle pain.

The issue is of growing importance because statin drugs are some of the most widely used medications in the world, proven to lower LDL, or “bad” cholesterol, and decrease the risk of heart attacks, heart disease, strokes and death. About 20 million people in the U.S. now take statins, and new guidelines have just been issued to further expand the types of health conditions for which statins may be of benefit. Based on those guidelines, the number of statin users could increase to more than 30 million.

The findings were published in the Journal of Clinical Lipidology by scientists from Oregon State University and four other universities or research institutes.

“We’ve known for some time of many medications that can interact with statins, but only now is it becoming clear that this is a significant contributor to the side effects, and often the reason some patients stop taking statins,” said Matt Ito, a professor in the OSU College of Pharmacy and president of the National Lipid Association, which funded this study.

“This issue is something physicians, pharmacists and patients all need to be more aware of,” Ito said. “There’s a lot we can do besides discontinue use of these valuable medications. You can change dosages, use drugs that don’t cause interactions, use different types of statins. Patients need to be proactive in understanding this issue and working with their health care providers to address it.”

Persons who have problems taking statins should discuss options with their physicians or pharmacists, Ito said, and not assume the drug has be to discontinued. A Medscape web site at http://reference.medscape.com/drug-interactionchecker also can help individuals learn more about possible interactions between statins and the full range of medications they may be taking.

Statins are usually well-tolerated, but in the recent survey, a muscle-related side effect was reported by 29 percent of participants. In former statin users, 62 percent of the people said that side effects, mostly muscle pain, were the reason they stopped taking the drugs.

There are many drugs that can interfere with statin metabolism, increase systemic exposure to the statin and raise the risk of this muscle pain, the researchers said in their report. This can include some common antibiotics, cardiovascular drugs, and others taken for treatment of cancer, mental health, HIV treatment and other conditions.

These interactions are not always adequately considered by physicians and pharmacists, however. One recent report found that as many as 20 percent of significant statin-drug interactions were missed in 64 pharmacies.

Besides drug interactions, statin side effects are also more common in women and associated with increasing age, history of cardiovascular disease, and some other conditions. Statin discontinuation has been associated with increased cardiovascular morbidity and death.

About the OSU College of Pharmacy: The College of Pharmacy prepares students of today to be the pharmacy practitioners and pharmaceutical sciences researchers of tomorrow by contributing to improved health, advancing patient care and the discovery and understanding of medicines.

THE BOULEVARD MALL HOSTS HEALTH AND FITNESS FAIR

July 8, 2013 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Articles 

THE BOULEVARD MALL HOSTS HEALTH AND FITNESS FAIR

Nearly 25 local vendors to provide free services and information on Saturday, June 29

 

WHAT:            The Boulevard Mall, in partnership with Las Vegas Review Journal, El Tiempo, Mundo Fox TV, La Buena and ESPN Deportes hosts a Boulevard Mall Health and Fitness Fair on Saturday, June 29 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. The event is planned to occur annually to provide the public with convenient access to a variety of health and wellness resources in the community.

The Fair includes a variety of free services and information, such as health screenings and workshops.  Participating vendors include; American Heart & Stroke Association, American Lung Association in Nevada, Behavioral Bilingual Services, CareMore Medicare Advantage Program, First Person Care Clinics, Health and Wellness, Helping Kids Clinic, Kopolow & Girisgen, Doctors of Optometry, Nathan Adelson Hospice, Nevada Donor Network Inc., Nevada Health Centers, Nevada State Immunization Program – NVWeblz, Planned Parenthood of Southern Nevada, Vitamin World, State of Nevada Office for Consumer Health Assistance, Sunrise Children Foundation WIC, Three Square and US Senator Harry Reid.

For additional information and a complete list of all participating organizations, please contact The Boulevard Mall Management office at 702-735-7430 or visit boulevardmall.com.

WHEN:           Saturday, June 29, 2013

                        11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

                       

WHERE:        The Boulevard Mall

                        East Event Area

3680 S. Maryland Parkway

Las Vegas, NV 89169

 

About The Boulevard Mall:

The Boulevard Mall is a super-regional shopping center strategically located in the heart of Las Vegas just two miles from the Las Vegas Strip. The Boulevard is located on Maryland Parkway, a six-lane thoroughfare with easy mall accessibility from all directions. Some of its notable retailers include JCPenney, Macy’s, Sears, Charlotte Russe, Old Navy, Cotton On and Victoria’s Secret. For additional information, please visit www.boulevardmall.com.

Senior Citizens Dating – Advantages of Online Dating For Finding Compatible Partners By David Kamau

April 16, 2013 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Articles 

The desire for love, romance and intimacy does not die out with age. Senior  citizens dating can be a little complicated, but fun all the same.

Whether you’re a senior single by choice (you’ve never been married), or  re-entering the dating world due to divorce or death of spouse, you can find  love and romance. There are various venues that you can meet other mature  singles, but none beats online dating. Why?

You see, there are dating services dedicated specifically for older singles.  And while most of these site’s membership minimum age is 40 or 50 (not exactly a  senior) it is good to know that younger “competitors” will not be present.

Granted, you could still do a search in popular dating sites and find a good  number of senior citizens seeking a date. But with senior citizens dating sites,  much of the narrowing down has already been done for you. And you are sure that  each member is seeking a mate who is not a “spring chicken” so to say.

Another advantage of senior citizen dating online is that everyone is on the  site for the some reason: to find love and romance. There is no guessing.

You see, while you can meet senior singles at many venues such as the park,  senior citizen events, church or other traditional venues, there usually is no  easy way to tell if the person that catches your eye is available. He or she may  not be single, or may be single but not ready to for a relationship for one  reason or another.

But if a person is on an internet dating site for seniors, it means that  she/he is not only available but ready for a relationship and already actively  searching. You can’t beat that for starters.

Next is compatibility. It can take weeks or even months of dating and many  hits-and-misses to find a person with whom you share common interests or have  certain aspects that complement each other’s in a way that makes you suited for  each other.

With online dating, you already “know” the other person through her/his  personal profile. You also will have a chance to communicate through email,  instant messages and phone calls long before the actual person to person  meeting. This means that you will already know something about each other’s  personality.

And if the senior citizen dating service offers live video features, you will  even have “seen” each other live if both of you have a webcam. And just by the  way, you can get a good quality webcam for a relatively low cost.

Want to meet other available single seniors? Now find reputable free basic  membership senior  dating sites and choose the right one for you. David Kamau is offers dating service reviews at his  website and blog.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=David_Kamau

The Harrowing Medical Journey of a Cancer Survivor by Nina Kramer

April 11, 2013 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Las Vegas, Press-Media Releases 

The Harrowing Medical Journey of a Cancer Survivor by Nina Kramer

“‘You have cancer’ are three of the scariest words you will ever hear,”
says Nina Kramer, author of the new book, The Harrowing Medical Journey of
a Cancer Survivor. “But how you react after hearing those words can mean
the difference between thriving and deteriorating.”

Kramer’s journey through the world of cancer treatment began in 2000 when
she was diagnosed with bladder cancer. Every year over 73,000 people are
diagnosed with the disease in the United States. Men are three times more
likely than women to develop it and about 5% will die from the disease, but
the death rate has been declining over the past twenty years.

Like many, Kramer’s journey began with a routine physical. What followed was
anything but routine.  Her first detour began with a trusted doctor. She liked him and
followed his instructions faithfully but, as she was to learn, he was not giving her the best and most advanced treatments. The number one rule when facing an illness as serious as cancer, she quickly discovered, is to do your research and seek out the best doctors and institutions that treat your disease.

The Harrowing Medical Journey of a Cancer Survivor is Kramer’s courageous
story as she copes with a severe illness that lasted more than a decade. It began with a diagnosis of low-grade bladder cancer, continued with the removal and/or reconstruction of vital organs, and ended with dialysis and a kidney transplant. Although the story is specific to bladder cancer and its aftermath, it covers aspects inherent in any serious,
and sometimes life-threatening, illness.

With candor, honesty and life-affirming messages, The Harrowing Medical
Journey of a Cancer Survivor shares:

* The impact of emotions on surviving a serious illness – fear, denial, anger, anxiety and depression can have devastating results
* The search for experts – the single most important thing you can do when
battling a severe illness is to find the best hospitals and doctors specializing in your disease
* The focus on other passions – engrossing yourself in activities other than the illness to relieve your mind from the constant anxiety of worrying about it
* The importance of cancer support groups and psychotherapy – talking to other people can help you explore your feelings so they don’t interfere with or hamper your recovery
* Spending time on what you love – do everything you can to fight your illness, but spend time doing the things that bring you pleasure and satisfaction
* Having sex – the human contact and intimacy, as well as the erotic pleasure, can be a wonderful antidote to pain and misery

“I wanted to share my story with other cancer victims,” adds Kramer. “As I travelled this frightening medical journey, I learned a lot about how to survive and even thrive under sometimes terrifying circumstances. I wanted to share this experience in the hope that it would help others undergoing frightening medical journeys.

Nina Kramer, is a published novelist and author of the new nonfiction ebook,
The Harrowing Medical Journey of a Cancer Survivor. She has held various
positions from journals manager to assistant vice president with medical,
scientific and technical publishers while pursuing her craft as a writer.
While undergoing cancer treatment, she made an arduous trip through some
remote locations in China—described in her Medical Journey book—as
research for her next novel set in the Middle Kingdom, Phoenix Rising; Tigers Flying. She divides her time between New York City and Stockbridge, MA.

Blog: http://ninaikramer.wordpress.com/cancer

The Harrowing Medical Journey of a Cancer Survivor is available in ebook format
through www.authorhouse.com. www.amazon.com, www.barnesandnoble.com,
and all online booksellers.

Review Copies Available Upon Request

CVS Caremark Emphasizes Commitment to Older Americans at Annual American Society on Aging Conference

March 30, 2013 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Press-Media Releases 

Company highlights the importance of medication adherence in helping seniors on their path to better health

CVS Caremark (NYSE:CVS) will highlight how medication adherence plays a vital role in helping older Americans on their path to better health at the 2013 Annual American Society on Aging Conference, which is being held in Chicago this week.

(Logo:  http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20090226/NE75914LOGO )

CVS Caremark, a Titanium Sponsor of the conference, will also be participating in a number of general sessions and panels and will highlight its efforts to ensure customers and patients receive quality care and guidance as they age. David Casey, the company’s Vice President of Workforce Strategies and Chief Diversity Officer, will open the March 12 General Session: Mysteries of Population Aging.

As a pharmacy innovation company, CVS Caremark is committed to developing new ways to lower costs and improve health. By advancing the understanding of medication adherence through research collaborations, the company is gathering important information about why some patients take their medications as prescribed and why others do not. CVS Caremark is also refining the ways it interacts with patients through proven programs, such as Pharmacy Advisor and Maintenance Choice, that help patients stay on their medications and improve health outcomes.

“People age 65 and older typically take two or three times as many medications as younger Americans,” said Casey. “As we reinvent pharmacy care, we will continue to be a trusted health care partner to all of our customers, but particularly to aging Americans who are more likely to have chronic conditions and require more guidance.”

CVS Caremark is not only committed to its older customers and patients, it is also committed to recruiting mature workers and supporting older colleagues who are already part of the company.

“At CVS Caremark, we believe talent is ageless. Our mature colleagues’ knowledge and experience are important assets to our company. They provide us with insight into the best ways to serve our mature customers and sometimes become mentors to their younger colleagues,” added Casey.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 4.7 percent of the nation’s workforce is age 60 and over. Currently, 6.9 percent of CVS Caremark’s workforce is age 60 and over, higher than the national rate. The number of CVS Caremark colleagues who are age 50 and over has grown from approximately 6 percent in 1990 to nearly 20 percent in 2013. To continue this upward trend, CVS Caremark is cultivating public and private partnerships at the local, state, and national level with the goal of recruiting more mature workers into all areas of its workforce.

About CVS Caremark

CVS Caremark is dedicated to helping people on their path to better health as the largest integrated pharmacy company in the United States. Through the company’s more than 7,400 CVS/pharmacy stores; its leading pharmacy benefit manager serving more than 60 million plan members; and its retail health clinic system, the largest in the nation with more than 600 MinuteClinic locations, it is a market leader in mail order, retail and specialty pharmacy, retail clinics, and Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Plans.  As a pharmacy innovation company with an unmatched breadth of capabilities, CVS Caremark continually strives to improve health and lower costs by developing new approaches such as its unique Pharmacy Advisor program that helps people with chronic diseases such as diabetes obtain and stay on their medications.  Find more information about how CVS Caremark is reinventing pharmacy for better health at info.cvscaremark.com.

Contacts:

Jeff Ventura
Corporate Communications
(401) 770-1990
Jeffrey.Ventura@cvscaremark.com

Fashion Show Salutes Youth Volunteers For Exceptional Community Service

March 10, 2013 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Press-Media Releases 

More than 30 high school young men and women from National Charity League Las Vegas and

Young Men’s Service League take the runway at Fashion Show

 

WHAT:                        In recognition of thousands of hours of community service performed by local youth, Fashion Show hosts a special runway show to salute and recognize the good works and community contributions of two local youth service organizations – National Charity League (NCL) Las Vegas chapter and Young Men’s Service League (YMSL).  More than 30 young men and women from area high schools and members of these organizations will participate in a special runway show underwritten and hosted by Fashion Show, Best Agency and Faiss Foley Warren Public Relations.   The young women and men, along with their mothers, are members of the National Charity League and Young Men’s Service League Las Vegas chapters, respectively, and have collectively performed thousands of hours of community service at dozens of non-profit organizations in our community.  NCL’s mission is to promote volunteerism, cultivate leadership and provide an opportunity for mothers and teen daughters to forge a bond through service.  YMSL encourages young men and their mothers to improve their relationship by pursuing philanthropic opportunities in their community.

 

The show is free to the public with special reserved seating for NCL and YMSL members.

 

WHEN:                       Saturday, February 23, 2013

Runway shows at 1 and 3 p.m.  

 

WHERE:                    On the runway in the Great Hall

Fashion Show, 3200 Las Vegas Boulevard South

 

FASHION SHOW:    

Fashion Show is the largest shopping destination on Las Vegas Boulevard.  It is located at 3200 Las Vegas Blvd., South and can be accessed from Spring Mountain Road, just west of Las Vegas Boulevard or via Mel Torme Way, just off of Industrial Road.  Anchors include Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue, Macy’s, Dillard’s, Bloomingdale’s Home, Nordstrom and Forever 21.  Underground, covered, garage and valet parking are offered. Please call Fashion Show at 702-369-8382, or visit www.thefashionshow.com for more information.

 

NATIONAL CHARITY LEAGUE:

Established in Los Angeles, California in 1925, and incorporated in 1958, National Charity League, Inc. is the premier mother-daughter organization, serving women and their daughters in grades 7-12. The NCL Experience inspires and empowers women to succeed as confident, well-rounded and socially aware contributors in their communities.  Currently the membership organization has 168 Chapters in 17 states, providing valuable philanthropic, leadership, and cultural experiences to its members and striving to meet critical needs of local communities through hands-on volunteer support. For more information, visit our Website at www.nationalcharityleague.org.

 

YOUNG MEN’S SERVICE LEAGUE:

Founded in Plano, Texas in 2001 by Pam and Julie Rosener, Young Men’s Service League is an organization that allows mothers and their high school sons an opportunity to work together in support of those in need within the community.  The National YMSL organization was formed in 2005 and has grown to over 30 chapters in five states.  In addition to volunteering and completing service hours, the young men are required to attend meetings where they develop leadership, social and life/practice skills as well as learn about health/nutrition and making smart decisions in life.

Queen’s study shows psychotropic drug dispensing increases on entry to care homes

March 10, 2013 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Press-Media Releases 
Queen’s study shows psychotropic drug dispensing increases on entry to care homes
 

 

A study by Queen’s University Belfast has found that the dispensing of psychotropic drugs to older people in Northern Ireland increases on entry to care homes.

According to the study, due to be published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, antipsychotic drug dispensing in older people more than doubled from 8.2 per cent before entry to care homes to 18.6 per cent after entering care.

The study was carried out by researchers from Queen’s Centre for Public Health in the School of Medicine, Dentistry and Biomedical Sciences.  It analysed prescribing data for over 250,000 people, aged 65 years and over living in Northern Ireland from 2008 to 2010, and looked at drug uptake within the older population during the transition from community to care.

The study revealed that psychotropic drug use was higher in care homes than the community, with 20.3 per cent of those in care homes dispensed an antipsychotic in January 2009, compared with 1.1 per cent of those in the community.

Lead researcher on the Queen’s study, Aideen Maguire, who is based in the Centre of Excellence for Public Health Northern Ireland said: “Although drug dispensing is high in older people in the community, we have found that it increases dramatically on entry to care. This study showed that the high uptake of psychotropic drugs observed in care homes in Northern Ireland cannot be explained by a continuation of drug use initiated in the community prior to entering care.

“With an ageing population globally it is important that we look at the reasons behind this type of increase following admission to care. Antipsychotic uptake in Northern Ireland is similar to that in the rest of the UK and Ireland, and this study highlights the need for routine medicines reviews especially during the transition into care.”

Other key findings of the study included:

·         Of the 250,617 people studied, 6,779 (2.7 per cent) experienced a transition into care during 2008-2010.

·         The psychotropic drugs prescribed to patients included in the study were being prescribed for the first time for many.

·         Six months after admission, 37.1 per cent of all new residents had received at least one prescription for a hypnotic drug, 30.2 per cent for an antipsychotic, and 24.5 per cent for an anxiolytic.

·         1.1 per cent of those living in the community were dispensed at least one prescription for an antipsychotic in January 2009, (7.3 per cent for a hypnotic, and 3.6 percent for an anxiolytic).

·         Hypnotic drug dispensing increased from 14.8 per cent to 26.3 per cent after entering care.

·         This study shows that use of psychotropic medication in a small proportion of residents of care homes was a continuation of a prescription that had been started before entry, but one in six individuals with no history of psychotropic drug use in the six months before entry had been exposed to at least one antipsychotic prescription within six months of entering care.

Professor Carmel Hughes from the School of Pharmacy at Queen’s added: “This is an important study of national and international relevance, as with an ageing population, quality of care for older people is an ongoing public health concern.

“The number of older people entering care across Ireland is predicted to increase in the next 10 years, and studies further predict a 69 per cent increase in the Irish population aged over 65 years from 2006-2021, and a 40 per cent increase in the those aged over 65 years in Northern Ireland in the same time frame.  With a globally ageing population, it is vitally important that we look at the reasons behind the increase in the prescription of psychotropic drugs in care homes.”

For further information on the Centre for Public Health and Centre of Excellence for Public Health Northern Ireland is available online at

http://www.qub.ac.uk/research-centres/CentreforPublicHealth/

Ends.

For media enquiries please contact Claire O’Callaghan on +44 (0) 28 9097 5391 or 07814415451 or at c.ocallaghan@qub.ac.uk

Notes to Editors

  1. Aideen Maguire is available for interview.  Interview bids to Claire O’Callaghan on +44 (0) 28 9097 5391 or 07814415451 or at c.ocallaghan@qub.ac.uk
  2. A photograph of Aideen Maguire has been issued to picture desks and is available on request.
  3. Audio interview clips of Aideen Maguire and an online ‘WhatQneedtoknow’ video will be available at http://www.qub.ac.uk/home/ceao/Qtv/
  4. The full report is available for ‘early view’ at http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/jgs.12101/pdf
  5. Other studies have looked at drug uptake in care and in the community separately.

 

 

 

SLCC Joins National Program to Train Baby Boomers for Jobs

February 16, 2013 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Press-Media Releases 

Salt Lake Community College was recently chosen to join the Plus 50 Encore Completion Program, a national effort to train 10,000 baby boomers for new jobs in healthcare, education and social services. The program is sponsored by the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC).

The College will assist adults age 50 and over in completing degrees or certificates in high-demand occupations that give back to the community. With many adults age 50 and over out of work or seeking to transition to a new career, the program offers skill updates and career makeovers. Salt Lake Community College will prepare older adults for careers such as pharmacy or ultrasound technicians and medical terminology specialists. In addition, the College’s Transition to Teaching program is offered in partnership with the State Office of Education to prepare students as elementary and secondary educators.

“The Plus 50 Encore Completion Program represents a meaningful, national validation of the work the College’s Division of Continuing Education has undertaken. The program will support individuals who want to design a second career—either out of practical necessity or personal interest,” said Jennifer Saunders, Associate Dean of Continuing Education. “People returning for education and training at this stage of their lives are building on rich employment histories, valuable interpersonal skills, and knowledge achieved through experiential learning. These resources are then being coupled with the most current workforce education.”

The program will be implemented utilizing a variety of strategies, including accelerated classes, flexible scheduling and cohort models, which provide groups of students with similar goals an opportunity to move through a program together.

Since 2008, AACC and its network of Plus 50 Initiative colleges have worked with baby boomers to help them prepare for new careers. An independent evaluation of AACC’s Plus 50 Initiative found that 89 percent of students agreed that college work force training helped them acquire new job skills, and 72 percent attributed landing a job to such training.
“Many adults age 50 and over want to train for new jobs that help others and are hiring, but they need to update their skills. Community colleges offer a supportive environment where baby boomers can train for new jobs quickly and affordably,” said Mary Sue Vickers, director for the Plus 50 Initiative at AACC.

In addition to grant funds to augment training programs, participating colleges gain access to toolkits and extensive marketing resources tailored to reach baby boomers. They’ll also benefit from the advice and support of staff at other community colleges that have successfully implemented programs for older learners and understand the unique needs of the plus 50 student population.

The Plus 50 Encore Completion Program is funded with a $3.2 million grant to AACC provided by Deerbrook Charitable Trust—supporting AACC’s work to increase the number of students who finish degrees, certificates, and other credentials. In April 2010, AACC committed alongside other higher education organizations, to promote the development and implementation of policies, practices and institutional cultures that will produce 50 percent more students with high quality degrees and certificates by 2020.

While the AACC Encore Completion Program focuses on serving the Plus 50 population, Salt Lake Community College welcomes anyone interested in making a career transition to learn more about the broad range of training opportunities available at: www.slcccontinuinged.com.

For more information about the Plus 50 Initiative at AACC, see: http://plus50.aacc.nche.edu.

The Encore Institute at Salt Lake Community College is an innovative program designed for adult learners who want to expand their knowledge through career and personal enrichment courses. The Institute offers flexible class scheduling, non-degree and degree learning experiences and affordable training to deepen or expand the personal and professional skills of students.

The American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) is a national organization representing close to 1,200 community, junior and technical colleges nationwide. Community colleges are the largest and fastest growing sector of higher education, enrolling more than 13 million credit and non-credit students annually. More information is available at: http://aacc.nche.edu.

About the College: Salt Lake Community College is an accredited, student-focused, urban college meeting the diverse needs of the Salt Lake community. Home to more than 62,000 students each year, the College is the largest supplier of workforce development programs in the State of Utah. The College is the sole provider of applied technology courses in the Salt Lake area, with 13 sites, an eCampus, and nearly 1,000 continuing education sites located throughout the Salt Lake valley. Personal attention from an excellent faculty is paramount at the College, which maintains a student-to-teacher ratio of less than 20 to 1.

Downtown 3rd hosts the International Vendor Village during the second annual Chinese New Year in the Desert

February 16, 2013 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Press-Media Releases 

Festival takes place in downtown Las Vegas February 8-10

LAS VEGAS – The Year of the Water Snake kicks off with the second annual Chinese New Year celebration in downtown Las Vegas, February 8 -10, as the area is transformed into a spring festival. Throughout the three-day event, guests can visit the International Vendor Village, located at Downtown 3rd – 3rd Street between Ogden Avenue and Stewart Avenue. As its name implies, the International Vendor Village features international flavors from multiple food vendors, including SATAY, Dragon Grille, Sauced, Wok Express, Gyoza-San, Triple George, Coast 2 Coast, Sin City Snoballs, Haulin’ Balls food truck, Ben’s BBQ and more.
Prizes and giveaways will be offered throughout the weekend.
Chinese New Year in the Desert starts Friday, Feb. 8 at 6 p.m. on the 3rd Street Stage at Fremont Street Experience. It includes three days of events such as the Miss Asian American Pacific Islander USA Pageant, a fashion show by Macy’s, the American Heart Association Heart Walk and the McDonald’s Las Vegas Spring Festival Parade. The International Vendor Village is open at Downtown3rd throughout the entire two and a half-day event.
About Fifth Street Gaming
Fifth Street Gaming (FSG) is a Las Vegas, Nevada-based casino management company led by CEO Seth Schorr and founded by Schorr and his partner, Jeffrey Fine. Fifth Street Gaming will own and operate seven Las Vegas gaming locations, including the Lucky Club Casino and Hotel, Opera House Saloon and Casino, Silver Nugget Casino, Little Macau Ultra Tavern, Gold Spike Casino & Hotel, Siegel Slots and Suites and MOB Bar. Combined, these properties operate over 1000 machines, two dozen table games and 400-plus employees. FSG is also overseeing redevelopment and eventual operations of Downtown Grand Hotel & Casino, formerly Lady Luck Hotel & Casino. Downtown Grand is scheduled to open in late 2013 and is planned to include 600 slot machines 35 table games and 650 employees. Through their successful management of these properties, Schorr and his highly experienced team have garnered a strong reputation for reinvigorating dated properties with new technology, systems and enhanced amenities. The principals of Fifth Street Gaming also control, through affiliates, the LEV Restaurant Group, a Food & Beverage operation that owns and operates more than 35 restaurants in the Las Vegas area with combined revenues exceeding $25 million. The LEV Restaurant Group is the local area developer for The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf and Jamba Juice, and has a number of internally developed concepts including i♥burgers, Lobster ME and The Daily Kitchen & Wellness Bar. For more information, visit www.fifthstreetgaming.com.

Celebrate the Year of the Water Snake with Chinese New Year Festivities at Fremont Street Experience

February 16, 2013 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Events, Press-Media Releases 

Celebrate the Year of the Water Snake with Chinese New Year Festivities at Fremont Street Experience

Second Annual Chinese New Year in the Desert to Take Place in Downtown Las Vegas Feb. 8-10

Celebrate the Year of the Water Snake as Fremont Street Experience, the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA) and Golden Catalyst present the second annual Chinese New Year in the Desert festival in Downtown Las Vegas from Feb. 8 – 10. Chinese New Year is the most important of the traditional Chinese holidays. It is known as “Spring Festival” in China, “Tet New Year” in Vietnamese and “Seol-lal” in Korean.

Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn G. Goodman will kick-off the three-day festival during the opening ceremonies which will feature a live authentic dragon dance by the Las Vegas Lohan School of Shaolin. Throughout the weekend guests will also experience live International Cultural Performances; taste authentic dishes from around the world in the International Vendor Village; watch contestants compete for the chance to be crowned Miss Asian American Pacific Islander USA which will include a Macy*s Fashion Show, Talent Show and interview segment; view stunning parade floats in the McDonald’s Las Vegas Spring Festival Parade; and create their own lantern to display on Fremont Street Experience to commemorate the Lunar Lantern Festival.

“Last year we hosted the first-ever Chinese New Year festival in Downtown Las Vegas which was a great success,” said Jeff Victor, president of Fremont Street Experience. “We are excited to once again host this important holiday and encourage everyone to come downtown for a fun-filled weekend to usher in the Year of the Snake and wish wealth, health and good fortune to all.”

“Chinese New Year in the Desert will be a three-day cultural party with several new marquee events, making Downtown Las Vegas truly one of the best places for everyone to come together and ring in the Year of the Water Snake,” said Jan-Ie Low, of Golden Catalyst.

“Las Vegas is excited to usher in Chinese New Year with a variety of cultural amenities, attractions and celebrations,” said Michael Goldsmith, vice president of international sales for the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority. “China is an important market for the destination as it is our number one source of international travel from Asia.”

Opening Ceremonies – Friday, Feb. 8 at 6 p.m. on the 3rd Street Stage
Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn G. Goodman will help usher in the new year by participating in the Opening Ceremonies and ribbon cutting on Friday, Feb. 8 at 6 p.m. on the 3rd Street Stage (next to the D, Four Queens and Fremont). The new year will be greeted with a live authentic dragon dance performed by the Las Vegas Lohan School of Shaolin complete with virtual firecrackers on Viva Vision (the largest video screen in the world measuring 1,500 feet long and suspended 90 feet above the street), an eye painting ceremony and performers dressed in elaborate costumes.

International Vendor Village and Cultural Performances
Throughout the three-day festival, guests will be taken on a journey around the world as they experience performances from several Asian entertainers on the 3rd Street Stage and visit the International Vendor Village, located on 3rd Street North between Fremont Street and Stewart Avenue, to taste the international flavors from renown food vendors. The International Vendor Village and Cultural Performances will take place on Friday, Feb. 8 from 5-10 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 9 and 10 from noon-9 p.m.

Lunar Lantern Festival
To commemorate the Lunar Lantern Festival, which officially ends the Chinese New Year celebrations, primary grade students of Clark County School District will be constructing paper lanterns marked with their “wish” for 2013. The lanterns will then be on display throughout Fremont Street Experience during the Chinese New Year in the Desert festival. Additionally, guests and passersby are invited to stop in at a booth located near the 3rd Street Stage to build their own lantern to display on Fremont Street Experience. The Lunar Lantern Festival is sponsored by St. Jude’s Women’s Auxiliary Group.

Miss Asian American Pacific Islander USA Pageant
Throughout the three-day event, several women will compete in the Miss Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) USA Pageant. Contestants will participate in the Macy*s Fashion Show, modeling the latest cutting edge Spring fashion lines from Macy*s, a Talent Show emceed by Ian Ziering from Beverly Hills 90210, and interview segment for the chance to be crowned Miss AAPI USA. The winner will receive a combination of cash and gift prizes with a retail value of $10,000. The First Runner-Up and Second Runner-Up will receive a combination of cash and gift prizes with a retail value of $5,000 and $2,500 respectively.

The schedule for the Miss Asian American Pacific Islander Pageant is as follows:
*** All events take place on the 3rd Street Stage.

Friday, Feb. 8
8 p.m. – Introduction of Miss AAPI USA Contestants
9 p.m. – Macy*s Fashion Show

Saturday, Feb. 9
8 p.m. – Talent Show: Miss AAPI USA Contestants

Sunday, Feb. 10
8 p.m. – Interview and Crowning of Miss AAPI USA Contestants

Heart Walk Benefitting the American Heart Association
On Saturday, Feb. 9 thousands of walkers from all over the valley will step out to support the American Heart Association during the Heart Walk. Registration begins at 7:30 a.m. at the 3rd Street Stage with the walk taking place from 8:30-10:30 a.m.

McDonald’s Las Vegas Spring Festival Parade
On Sunday, Feb. 10 local businesses and organizations will come together to celebrate the Chinese Lunar New Year during the McDonald’s Las Vegas Spring Festival Parade. Parade participants will showcase their talent and creativity with the most extravagant floats in vibrant colors to commemorate the rich history of the most important holiday of the Asian community. Starting at 10 a.m. at the intersection of Gass Avenue and 4th Street, the McDonald’s Las Vegas Spring Festival Parade will travel up 4th Street through Fremont Street Experience and end at the intersection of 4th Street and Ogden Avenue.

For a detailed entertainment schedule go to www.cnyinthedesert.com. All entertainment is free and open to the public.

About Fremont Street Experience
Fremont Street Experience is a five-block entertainment complex located in historic downtown Las Vegas. Fremont Street Experience features Viva Vision, the world’s largest video screen which is 1,500 feet long, 90 feet wide and suspended 90 feet above the pedestrian mall. Viva Vision features nightly spectacular light and sounds shows with 12.5 million LED lights and a 550,000-watt sound system. Fremont Street Experience is a one-of-a-kind venue which includes free nightly concerts and entertainment on three stages. With direct pedestrian access to 10 casinos, more than 60 restaurants and specialty retail kiosks, Fremont Street Experience attracts over 17 million annual visitors. Fremont Street Experience can be found online at www.vegasexperience.com.

QUINCEAÑERAS MAGAZINE TO HOST COVER MODEL CASTING AT THE BOULEVARD MALL

January 17, 2013 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Press-Media Releases 

WHAT: On Sunday, January 6, Quinceañeras Magazine will host an open casting in search of its next Miss Cover Girl. Young ladies of Hispanic descent, ages 14-15, are invited to attend. All contestants must be accompanied by an adult or guardian. Nevada residents only. A release form will be required in order to be considered.

The open casting at the mall will feature a runway presentation, DJ and a section for special guests attending to support those participating in the casting. A Wall of Fame will also be displayed throughout the center featuring past quinceañeras.

Contestants will be participating in the Quinceañera Expo on February 17. Finalists will compete for the crown on February 24 in Las Vegas.

For additional information on the casting, please visit www.quinceanerasmagazine.com.

WHEN: Sunday, January 6
2:00 p.m.

WHERE: The Boulevard Mall
East JCPenney Courtyard
3528 S. Maryland Parkway
Las Vegas, NV 89169
P: (702) 735-8268
www.boulevardmall.com

About The Boulevard Mall:
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Nevada-Senior-Guide Senior Dimensions United Healthcare

August 10, 2011 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Health and Home Care 

http://www.seniordimensions.com/

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Say HELLO to Senior Dimensions

When selecting a Medicare plan, people have different priorities. Most consider the out-of-pocket costs associated with prescriptions, doctor visits, and hospital admissions. Others may select a plan that’s simple to use with little or no paperwork. For some, staying with their doctor is a must. That’s why Senior Dimensions (HMO/HMO-POS) offers Medicare Advantage benefits to help fit your health insurance needs.

Senior Dimensions Medicare Advantage plan is insured through Health Plan of Nevada, Inc., a UnitedHealthcare Insurance Company and a Medicare Advantage organization with a Medicare contract.

Enrollment Limitations: Enrollment in the plan is available during specific times of the year. Contact Senior Dimensions for more information. You must have both Medicare Parts A and B to enroll in the plan. You must continue to pay your Medicare Part B premium, if not otherwise paid for under Medicaid or by another third party.

Senior Dimensions Southern Nevada (HMO-POS) service area covers Clark and Nye counties. Senior Dimensions Greater Nevada (HMO) service area covers Esmeralda, Lyon and Mineral counties, as well as designated zip codes in Washoe County.

HMO members must use plan providers except in emergency or urgent care situations or for out-of-area renal dialysis. If you obtain routine care from out-of-network providers neither Medicare nor Senior Dimensions Medicare Advantage plans will be responsible for the costs.

For HMO-POS members, with the exception of emergency or out-of-area renal dialysis, it may cost more to get care from out-of-network providers.

Pharmacy Network Limitations: Prescription coverage subject to limitations. You must use contracted network pharmacies to access your Part D prescription drug benefit except under non-routine circumstances, in which case quantity limitations and restrictions may apply.

Beneficiary information is available in alternate formats and languages.  Please call Customer Service at 1-800-650-6232; TTY: 711 for details. Customer Service hours of operation are October 1 through February 14: 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. local time, 7 days a week. Between February 15 through September 30: 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. local time, Monday – Friday. On Saturday, Sunday and holidays, please leave a detailed message and a representative will return your call within a business day.

About Us

At Senior Dimensions, we realize more than ever the importance of offering  affordable, quality health care coverage. We understand that people who are  eligible for Original Medicare may be looking for better options to meet their  health care needs. That’s where Senior Dimensions (HMO/HMO-POS) can help.

Over 45,000 Nevadans get more benefits than Original Medicare with Senior  Dimensions Medicare Advantage plans. We’ve been serving Nevadans for over 25  years. A product of Health Plan of Nevada, an affiliate company of  UnitedHealthcare, and Nevada’s first federally qualified health maintenance  organization, Senior Dimensions offers members access to a range of plan options  and services above and beyond Original Medicare.

Programs

Senior Dimensions (HMO/HMO-POS) has a wide range of programs  and services to assist you!

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  • Senior Industry Network Group Events

    Monthly SING Meetings are held the first Thursday of every month at our NEW location below:

    Desert Canyon - HealthSouth
    9175 W. Oquendo Rd.
    Las Vegas, NV 89148

    S.I.N.G. Agenda:
    - Coffee and bagels will be served
    - A time to show gratitude by thanking those who have sent you referrals
    - Announcements around the room
    - One minute commercials
    - Open Discussion on topics of Self Empowerment

    * When? The 1st Thursday of every month. Networking starts at: 8:00am | Meeting starts at: 8:30am

    * How Much? It’s free!